August 2021 LabCoP ECHO Session: HIV VL Monitoring Among Patients on ART: Eight sub-Saharan African Countries, 2013–2018

August 24, 2021

LabCoP’s August 2021 ECHO session focused on sharing progress in HIV viral load (VL) monitoring among patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) from eight sub-Saharan Africa countries between 2013 and 2018. Monitoring of VL suppression at individual and population level is necessary to ensure achievement of global epidemic control. Despite significant challenges that hinder uptake in some African countries, access to sustainable quality VL testing in low- and middle-income countries is key in supporting this initiative. In this session, Dr Shirley Lee Lecher, Associate Chief Clinical Laboratory Services, ILB, DGHT, Center for Global Health, highlighted progress made in line with World Health Organization recommendations, how sub-Saharan African countries have overcome challenges to initiate and scale up testing to monitor patients receiving ART and VL testing in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This session provides valuable information to country teams, funders and policy makers on strategies and approaches to scale up and sustain VL testing.