April 16, 1995 in Nation/World

Test Could Help In Treating Aids

Compiled From Wire Services

A new test could help doctors predict how quickly people infected with the AIDS virus will develop the disease, University of Pittsburgh researchers said.

The test, reported in Saturday’s issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, may also help doctors determine the best treatment for each patient, said Dr. John Mellors, the director of the Pitt Treatment Evaluation Unit, which developed the test.

The test, branched DNA signal amplification, measures the amount of human immunodeficiency virus in the blood.

“It looks like a very strong predictor,” said Dr. Steven Schnittman of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Doctors now track HIV infections by keeping count of the immune system cells that are attacked by the virus. Patients frequently develop AIDS symptoms when the number of immune system cells drops.

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