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VIRAL LOAD TESTING IN AFRICAN HIV TREATMENT PROGRAMMES

Source:
Cape Town, South Africa, 18-20 April 2013

The African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM), the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Africa (WHO-AFRO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Society for AIDS in Africa, and the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society have called a meeting to bring together HIV clinicians, policymakers and laboratory scientists to discuss how best to design and implement effective and sustainable HIV viral load programmes. Invited guests will include experts and representatives from Ministries of Health, as well as local and international organisations.

More than 8 million people living with HIV have access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and millions more will start ART over the next few years. Maintaining the long-term effectiveness and quality of ART will be essential to sustaining and expanding the global HIV response. As countries implement viral load programmes, they face numerous technical, operational, policy and financial challenges. Improving access to affordable and reliable viral load testing for monitoring ART will be integral to successful programme implementation.

MEETING OBJECTIVES

  • Review the policy, operational, technical and financial challenges to expanding access to viral load testing in Africa, especially in difficult to reach areas
  • Discuss strategies for development of technical skills and technology transfer
  • Discuss strategies to utilize existing viral load capacity and implement future point-of-care (POC) viral load technologies
  • Discuss strategies for achieving affordable viral load testing
  • Develop recommendations for adopting and scaling up viral load testing, in consideration of World Health Organization guidelines

PLANNED MEETING OUTCOMES

  • Development of consensus strategies for strengthening or expanding HIV viral load testing capacity in Africa
  • Strengthened partnerships to support the scale-up of effective and sustainable HIV viral load programmes

MEETING LOCATION
SOUTHERN SUN NEWLANDS HOTEL
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
18-20 APRIL 2013

 

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