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.
On March 22, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. EST, AIDSFree hosted a webinar with Dianna Edgil and Jason Williams of USAID and Shirley Lecher and Ritu Pati of CDC. The speakers highlighted a network approach to viral load scale-up, introduced a viral load scale-up scorecard, and discussed the Project ECHO tool. The webinar also introduced the AIDSFree HIV Viral Load (VL) and Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) Knowledge Base, a collection of resources and tools to help you find what you need to scale up VL monitoring and EID.
Follow-up Answers from the Q&A (PDF, 207 KB)
Meet the Speakers
Dr. Dianna Edgil
Dr. Dianna Edgil is the Senior Advisor for Laboratory Diagnostics with USAID’s Global Health Bureau in the Office of HIV/AIDS. In this role, she supports supply chain and logistics activities specifically for laboratory and other non-pharmaceutical commodities. Previously, Dr. Edgil was an AAAS fellow with the State Department’s Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) where she managed the PEPFAR Public Health Evaluation program. Prior to joining OGAC, she worked with the International Vaccine Institute, an international organization based in Seoul, South Korea, on the Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative (PDVI). With PDVI she collaborated with reference and academic laboratories in Southeast Asia and Latin America in training, monitoring and evaluating the integration of dengue diagnostics techniques into surveillance and research programs. Dr. Edgil has a PhD in Infectious Diseases and Immunity from the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley.
Jason Williams currently holds the position of Senior Advisor for Laboratory Supply Chain Systems Strengthening with USAID’s Global Health Bureau in the Office of HIV/AIDS. Jason has over 25 years of clinical, research, and programmatic laboratory development and public health-based management experience. Jason serves as a liaison between country programs, Ministries of Health, PEPFAR, and external collaborators and other implementing partners. Jason’s primary responsibility is to provide technical leadership and advocacy within PEPFAR and at political levels to advance laboratory harmonization, equipment maintenance strategy development, best practice logistics and supply chain management principles, laboratory commodity quantifications, and efforts to optimize procurement decision-making.
Dr. Shirley Lee Lecher
Dr. Shirley Lee Lecher, MD, MPH, is the Associate Chief for Clinical Laboratory Practice in the Division of Global HIV/AIDS at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She serves as Senior Technical Advisor in the areas of HIV prevention, care and treatment of persons with HIV infection, surveillance and capacity development. In this role, she develops policy and provides advice to CDC Chiefs of Party, Ministries of Health, international health organizations, universities, non-governmental organizations, medical institutions, Congress, and the Global AIDS Coordinator for the Department of State. Dr. Lecher previously served as a Medical Officer in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention and as the Director of the Caribbean Regional Office, Global AIDS Program at CDC.
Dr. Rituparna Pati
Dr. Rituparna Pati, MD, MPH, is an infectious disease physician and HIV Treatment Technical Advisor in the Division of Global HIV and TB at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. She provides technical assistance for HIV care and treatment programs in PEPFAR countries, including support for scale-up of routine viral load monitoring. As co-lead of the HIV Program Mentorship Unit, she helps countries explore methods of cost-efficient training and mentorship of healthcare workers. Before joining CDC, Dr. Pati was Director of Research at the Spencer Cox Center for Health, Mount Sinai Institute of Medicine, in New York City.