1. Eligibility screening
A social worker in each of the accredited centers collects
sociodemographic information upon presentation of each patient. Then, a
physician assesses the patient's past medical history including prior and
current ARV drug use, and a physical exam is performed. To determine biologic
eligibility, a blood sample is then drawn. The specimen is sent to Projet
RETRO-CI laboratory for serum chemistry, hematology, CD4 count and viral load.
CD4 count was performed by flow cytometry (Facscan, Becton Dickinson,
Aalst-Erembodegem, Belgium). HIV-1 RNA viral load was quantified in the plasma
by reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) Amplicor HIV-1 Monitor Assay, version 1.5
(Roche Diagnostics Systems, Branchburg, NJ). This assay accurately quantifies
HIV-1 subtype A/G recombinant viruses which are the predominant subtypes in Cd'Ivoire. The limit of viral detection was 200 copies/ml.
Upon request of the physician, Projet RETRO-CI submits a
standardized anonymous summary report to the national committee for application
and deliberation regarding the