n Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine - Affordable HIV diagnosis and monitoring for scaling up ARV treatment programmes
|Article Title||Affordable HIV diagnosis and monitoring for scaling up ARV treatment programmes|
|Journal||Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine|
|Author||W. Stevens, S.A. Fiscus, D. Glencross, N. Rehkviashvili, G. Sherman, C. Wallis and T. Marshall|
|Publication Date||Sep 2005|
|Pages||38 - 41|
Laboratory monitoring of HIV / AIDS represents a significant challenge to any Third-World country where the total cost of disease monitoring may in fact exceed their annual health budget. Many obstacles are noted in the provision of affordable and accessible laboratory diagnosis and monitoring of HIV / AIDS in a resource-poor setting. These include lack of or poor laboratory infrastructure, absence of technical skills, and more specifically absent or poor laboratory management skills. Reagent costs are generally high and large capital outlay for sophisticated equipment is required. Facilitating informed decision-making for implementation of the appropriate technology is therefore essential. The wide array of technologies available for CD4 and viral load monitoring, in particular, pose significant dilemmas for laboratories initiating such programmes. Potential laboratory sites are flooded with information and literature and seldom have the infrastructure or funds to complete validations of optional methodologies before implementation. <BR>The objectives of this session were to introduce participants to technologies available for monitoring of HIV with particular reference to resource-poor settings and to highlight particular technologies currently in the research and development phase that may have relevance in future implementation strategies. The panel comprised a team of local researchers in the field (Professors Stevens, Glencross and Sherman, Ms Rekhviashvili and Ms Wallis) with an international perspective on the field of HIV viral load monitoring provided by Dr Susan Fiscus, a virologist representing the University of North Carolina and the Forum for Collaborative HIV Research in Washington, DC. Dr Terry Marshall, responsible for the laboratory component of the South African National ARV Rollout Programme, presented the progress of this implementation to date.
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