viral load testing
For people who may have been exposed to HIV, knowledge is critical to making informed decisions about their future. An HIV test is a serious event with potentially serious outcomes. But no matter the result, the test provides vital information. A negative result is an opportunity to take deliberate steps to prevent future acquisition through prevention methods tailored to that individual’s risks. A positive test result—and a confirmatory diagnosis—is never welcome news, but for people living with HIV, it is a necessary first step towards a long and healthy life.
SHARE newsletter: PEPFAR's 'Road Map' for HIV prevention ... an upcoming webinar on managing viral load results ... new AGYW guidance ... and more!
The goal of antiretroviral therapy is viral suppression. An elevated viral load suggests that a patient's treatment provision needs attention, such as adherence support. Repeated high viral loads for a patient who is receiving adherence support can be an indication to change the antiretroviral therapy regimen. Many countries have adopted viral load (VL) testing as the preferred approach to monitor patients' clinical response to ART and confirm treatment failure, and are in the process of scaling up VL testing capacity.
Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are the primary diagnostic tools for HIV used in resource-constrained settings. Without a proper confirmation algorithm, there is concern that false-positive (FP) RDTs could result in misdiagnosis of HIV infection and inappropriate antiretroviral treatment (ART) initiation, but programmatic data on FP are few.
Journey towards universal viral load monitoring in Maputo, Mozambique: many gaps, but encouraging signs
Viral load (VL) monitoring for people on antiretroviral therapy (ART) is extremely challenging in resource-limited settings. We assessed the VL testing scale-up in six Médecins Sans Frontières supported health centres in Maputo, Mozambique, during 2014-15.
This was the first study describing the uptake and results of VL testing scale-up in Mozambique. Identified gaps show patient and programmatic challenges. Where service delivery was customized to patient needs, VL monitoring was more successful.
Webinar: Information Technology Tools to Support the Scale Up of Viral Load Testing and Early Infant Diagnosis
DATE: Tuesday, July 18th, 2017
TIME: 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM (EDT)
WHERE: Adobe Connect
Tracking data across multiple health care sites, labs, and machines is one of the greatest challenges in scaling up viral load (VL) testing and early infant diagnosis (EID). Innovations in information technology can help to decrease the burden of data collection, improve the accuracy of the data collected, and enhance the timeliness of data use in order to identify and address issues quickly and efficiently.
Since 2013, WHO has recommended viral load testing as the preferred approach to monitor patient response to ART and confirm treatment failure. Many countries have adopted this recommendation and are in the process of scaling up viral load testing capacity. New point-of-care technologies offer further potential to expand viral load monitoring. However, there are a number of challenges to viral load monitoring scale up.