APPLICATION OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY TO THE MANAGEMENT OF HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS/ACQUIRED IMMUNE DEFICIENCY SYNDROME (HIV/AIDS)
Becton Dickinson and Company, Singapore
The revolution in molecular biology and its application through biotechnology during the past 20 years has had unprecedented implication for the diagnosis and management of human disease. Paralleling these biomedical advances the emergence of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) pandemic - first reported in 1981 - has served as a preeminent challenge to the practical application of these molecular technologies. Management of HIV/AIDS at the individual level involves diagnosis of HIV infection, clinical staging with assessment of risk for disease progression and treatment using combination anti-viral drugs with aggressive clinical monitoring. Efforts to produce both prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines are in various stages of development. At the population level, management of HIV/AIDS is focused on defining the natural history and epidemiology of the disease and characterization of evolving virus multi-drug resistance. Molecular technologies have both established and potential applications in each of these individual and population areas. Specific examples will be given for the use and misuse of recombinant DNA technology, amplification techniques (PCR, cRT-PCR, SDA), molecular probes and monoclonal antibodies in the clinical management of HIV/AIDS.
Copyright 1997 Hong Kong Medical Technology Association .
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