Webinar: Managing Viral Load Results

Event Date: 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - 8:00 am to 9:30 am EDT



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. Viral load testing can provide key information for clinicians to use when considering whether to switch patients to more expensive second- or third-line treatments, but requires appropriate interpretation and management.

On Tuesday, October 31, 2017, AIDSFree hosted a webinar on best practices for obtaining VL results and managing high results. Presentations highlighted maximizing the use of VL monitoring tools and results in Malawi; rapid VL scale up in Zimbabwe including processes for prioritized transmission of abnormal results and subsequent clinical management for optimal HIV outcomes; and how continuous quality improvement (CQI) was used to improve VL access and address key implementation challenges in VL monitoring in Uganda.

Webinar Q&A: Managing Viral Load Results (PDF 203 KB)

Meet the Speakers:

Allan Ahimbisibwe (MD, MPH)
Dr. Ahimbisibwe is the Director of Programs/Technical Director for EGPAF Malawi. He has worked in Malawi since 2012 to improve the quality of HIV service delivery at site level. His responsibilities include the optimization of the viral load cascade, using data for decision-making, and quality improvement (QI) approaches to improve treatment outcomes for patients on ART.
Shirish Balachandra (MD)
Dr. Balachandra is the Branch Chief for HIV Services at CDC Zimbabwe, having joined the country office in January 2015.
Claudios Musere
Mr. Musere is the I-TECH Zimbabwe Clinical Advisor. He has worked in this position since October 2016 and has been working in HIV/AIDS programs since 2008.
Juliet Tumwikirize (MD, MPHL, DPPM)
Dr. Tumwikirize is a Quality Improvement (QI) Advisor with URC under the USAID ASSIST Project in Uganda. She provides technical support in integrating QI into HIV care and treatment services and supports the Ministry of Health, implementing partners, districts, and health facilities in addressing system gaps in service delivery. Juliet has led ASSIST’s HIV team to implement QI projects to improve service delivery including viral load monitoring, achieved through training, coaching, and mentoring support to health workers to identify gaps and introduce changes to improve VL access.