Technical and operational considerations for implementing HIV viral load testing
Interim technical update
This publication provides high-level guidance on implementing and scaling up HIV viral load testing programmes for health ministries and implementation partners, using a three-phased approach: (1) planning; (2) scale-up; and (3) sustainability.
It addresses strategies to plan and implement a logical viral load testing network, including engaging leadership, mapping and forecasting, product and specimen selection, algorithm development, human resources and infrastructure requirements, monitoring and evaluation, maintenance, quality management systems and training. A key inclusion is technical guidance on using dried blood spot specimens.
This publication is intended to serve as a reference point for countries, whether they are commencing implementation or scaling up existing viral load testing capacity. Thoughtful consideration and planning of all areas covered in this publication will assist in developing a robust and sustainable HIV viral load testing network.