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.

Global Guidance and Country Experiences

New! Webinar: Point-of-Care Key Considerations and Toolkit

UNICEF, 2018.

This webinar recording provides a broad overview of the Key Considerations for Introducing New HIV Point-of-Care (POC) Diagnostic Technologies in National Health Systems and the HIV Point-of-Care Diagnostics Toolkit and to promote coordinated dissemination of both resources amongst partners at the country level.

New! Viral Load Testing and the Use of Test Results for Clinical Decision Making for HIV Treatment in Cameroon: An Insight into the Clinic-Laboratory Interface

Awungafac G. et al. (2018). PLoS ONE 13(6): e0198686. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0198686.

The objective of this study was to assess the uptake and utilization of viral load (VL) test results for clinical decisions on HIV treatment in Cameroon, from 2013 to 2017. The uptake of VL testing is low in North West, South West, and West Regions of Cameroon. This finding of low access to VL testing is consistent with a global call for governments in resource-limited settings to commit politically and ensure scale-up of VL testing that aligns with the new guidelines for ART monitoring.

Monitoring and Evaluation

New! The Effect of Monitoring Viral Load and Tracing Patients Lost to Follow-up on the Course of the HIV Epidemic in Malawi: A Mathematical Model

Estill, J., et al. (2018). Open Forum Infectious Diseases, 5(5), ofy092. DOI: 10.1093/ofid/ofy092.

This study used a mathematical model to determine whether antiretroviral therapy (ART) as prevention is more effective if viral load (VL) is routinely monitored and patients lost to follow-up (LTFU) traced. In this modeling, VL monitoring and tracing lost patients reduced new infections, but only minimally. The authors conclude that interventions designed to keep patients in care without interruptions could be beneficial.