HIV Viral Load "less than" results

As a companion to this thread about HIV Viral Load results, I had another question:

We are getting feedback from our site team in Malawi that the viral load results come in one of 3 forms:

  • Qualitative LDL - lower than detectable limit
  • Quantitative - a precise result in copies/ml
  • A quantitative “less than” value – sometimes the result will come as something like “< 500 copies/ml”. We are being told that this is not the same as LDL and also this is not necessarily the detectable lower limit of the machine. It’s a completely different way sometimes the results are communicated.

Historically, we’ve only captured the first 2 and were planning on moving forward with a model similar to that referenced in that older tread.

Does anyone else capture “less than” results like this? Would be interested in hearing what others are doing!

Thanks, Dave