9.6 Laboratory and diagnostic services
Consolidated ARV guidelines, June 2013
9.6.5 Increasing access to HIV viral load testing
The guidelines call for monitoring the response to treatment and diagnosing and confirming treatment failure with viral load testing. This will require strengthening the existing laboratory services and phased expansion of monitoring services into peripheral facilities and can include:
- strengthening and leveraging existing CD4 and early infant diagnosis networks;
- ensuring that laboratories have adequate infrastructure, technical testing expertise and quality assurance and quality improvement programmes;
- ensuring an appropriate mix of high-volume centralized laboratory testing and testing at the point of care for facilities in remote locations; and
- the use of dried blood spots as a tool to increase access to viral load testing.