HIV Viral Load Testing

“Consultation on Viral Load Monitoring for African HIV Treatment Programmes” Meeting:

This page aims to provide an informative and interactive portal that will gather and present current and upcoming HIV viral load monitoring tools, guidelines and communications in an easily accessible venue.


Accurate monitoring of HIV in a patient is essential for assessing the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and preventing unnecessary switches to costly second-line drug therapy. Unfortunately, viral load testing is not widely available due to limited laboratory capacity and cost considerations, and many countries are exploring ways to expand access to this test. This includes investigation of more feasible testing, sample collection and transport options such as dried blood spots (DBS) and point-of-care (POC) technologies. With the continued need for rapid scale-up of ART and an increasing emphasis on viral load for ART monitoring, there is an urgent need to expand viral load testing capacity within Africa.

The African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) recognises that the complexity of scaling-up viral load testing is not only a laboratory issue, but it also relates to clinicians and programme managers. ASLM will provide a venue through this site for tools. and resources that will support clinical, policy, programmatic, technical and scientific aspects of the implementation of viral load testing.

Planned Features for the HIV Viral Load Testing Web Portal

Technical and programmatic HIV viral load strategies and guidelines

  • Current viral load testing policies and algorithms
  • Viral load technologies
  • Viral load training tools
  • Guidelines for expanding current or new technologies
  • Guidelines for implementing and maintaining viral load programmes
  • Quality management systems

Meetings, conferences, publications and policy documents

  • World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations
  • Publications

New viral load technologies and communication portal

  • Evaluations and operational research
  • Point-of-care (POC), dried blood/plasma spot samples
  • Open discussion forum
  • Innovative testing approaches and methods