Laboratory Systems REIMAGINED to Deliver Scale Up

Sponsors: Abbott
Date: Tuesday, 11 December 2018
Time: 12:30-14:00
Location: Niger/Enugu

No invitations necessary; open to all conference registrants

The demands on the laboratory have never been greater: increasing efficiency with current or fewer resources requires establishing appropriate infrastructure for specimen transportation and result reporting with minimal turn-around time.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends HIV-1 viral load (VL) testing as the preferred method for monitoring treatment success. Dried blood spot (DBS) based HIV-1 VL testing is known to facilitate specimen collection and transport, enable reaching the most vulnerable and at-risk populations, will enhance the accessibility and scalability of HIV-1 monitoring in remote areas, and support achieving 90-90-90 target goals by 2020. A threshold of 1000 copies/ml is recommended for monitoring success of treatment in patients on antiviral therapy.

Efforts for broadening access to HIV-1 VL monitoring by implementing DBS testing are ongoing in various countries. However, implementing new technologies or converting to improved protocols for previously established technologies bear challenges and require proper planning and adjustment of operational steps to local conditions, as well as surveillance of the process, while reducing costs and improving efficiencies are critical to the success of existing programs at the same time.

The main aim of this seminar is to provide insight into long-term experiences from the implementation process and key factors essential for successful roll-out of DBS testing for HIV-1 VL testing reported by the organizers of local projects in Kenya and Uganda, two countries that started building and improving program infrastructure for efficient high-quality centralized testing services over 8 years, enabling measurably better healthcare outcomes.

At the end of the session participants will understand the key elements required for organizing and managing efficient local HIV-1 VL testing programs.


  • Clement Zeh, International Laboratory Branch, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States
  • Charles Kiyaga, National EID/VL/SCD Program, Uganda
  • Matilu Mwau, Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases Control Research, Kenya