New in Viral Load Testing

Viral load monitoring is the key to measuring HIV treatment success and achievement of the third 90. The goal of antiretroviral therapy (ART) is viral suppression—viral load that is so low that it cannot be detected by viral load tests. Achieving the third of UNAIDS' 90-90-90 targets means that, by 2020, 73% of all people living with HIV will have suppressed viral loads. This collection of resources and tools helps you find what you need to scale up viral load testing.

Laboratory Management

New! Point-of-Care Diagnostics: Extending the Laboratory Network to Reach the Last Mile

Drain P.K. and Rousseau C. (2017). Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2017 Mar; 12(2): 175–181. DOI: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000351.

This review highlights the obstacles for developing and implementing appropriate strategies for point-of-care (POC) HIV testing assays, including POC viral load testing, to improve clinical services for HIV-infected patients in resource-limited settings.

Clinical Implementation

New! Virological Response and Resistance among HIV-Infected Children Receiving Long-Term Antiretroviral Therapy without Virological Monitoring in Uganda and Zimbabwe: Observational Analyses within the Randomised ARROW Trial

Szubert A.J. et al. (2017). PLoS Med 14(11): e1002432. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002432.

Many HIV-infected children on treatment receive either no or infrequent viral load (VL) tests. This study, within the ARROW trial, investigated long-term VL and resistance in HIV-infected children managed without real-time VL monitoring in Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Monitoring and Evaluation

New! Supporting Quality Data Systems: Lessons Learned from Early Implementation of Routine Viral Load Monitoring at a Large Clinic in Lilongwe, Malawi

Gibb J. et al. (2017). J Clin Res HIV AIDS Prev. 3(1): 10.14302/issn.2324-7339.jcrhap-17-1468.

This PEPFAR-funded study describes a quality improvement assessment of a viral load (VL) program with a focus on the accuracy of data collected from patients as well as adherence to Malawi HIV Guidelines in regard to response to elevated viral loads. Data was collected from three parallel medical record systems to investigate the proportion of patients with a repeat VL and whether the sociodemographic and clinical data matched in the data systems.