Role of delay differential equations in modelling low level HIV viral load
McGuinness, Ed (2012) Role of delay differential equations in modelling low level HIV viral load. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
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Over the past 30 years, HIV has infected over 60 million people, with almost half succumbing to AIDS-related illnesses.While antiretroviral therapy, used to significantly reduce within-host HIV replication, was available within 10 years of the discovery of HIV/AIDS, it is only within the last 10 years that it has become truly effective and universally accessible. However, there are problems with this therapy, not least that it must be administered indefinitely , but is expensive and highly toxic. Furthermore, as therapy reaches more resource-limited regions, continual access can not be guaranteed, resulting in therapy interruptions. This, coupled with a significant cost reduction by systematically interrupting therapy, means a set of models which can account for both treatment events need to be developed, as numerous models exist for therapy introduction, but those for therapy removal are limited. Thus a set of delay differential models are designed, which account for previously overlooked important features of intracellular delay and HIV latency. Incorporation of these features requires additional model components, leading to a rapid increase in complexity. To combat this complexity issue, dimensional analysis is introduced, as a novel method of identifying key components to model function, thus allowing significant reduction in parameter space. Based on these developed models, a number of existing and potential treatment interruption regimes are investigated, with a best practice regime suggested.
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