Seminar #13

Implementing POC HIV Viral Load and EID – Considerations and Challenges for Africa

Diagnostics for the Real World Ltd

No invitations necessary; open to all conference registrantsSunday, 4 December 

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CTICC room location: 2.41-2.43

This seminar is aimed at a wide audience including researchers, technical personnel Public Health representatives from Departments of Health across Sub-Saharan Africa and NGO’s.


Point-of-care (POC) approach to diagnosis and therapy monitoring of HIV infection in resource-limited settings has gained interest and recognition over the past few years due to the availability of robust, simple and high performance POC assays and instruments. The ability of clinicians and health workers with little training to identify ART eligible patients and monitor treatment in remote areas at an affordable cost will improve patient care, limit loss-to-follow-up and decrease cost. Viral load measurement at POC is the most effective way to verify ART efficacy and to differentiate at the earliest possible time between poor compliance and resistance to ART drugs. Mr Matiru from UNITAID will present a broad view regarding the importance of innovation, the dissemination and scale-up of POCs for HIV viral load. Dr Gueguen from Médecins sans Frontières will report the three-year experience of viral load monitoring with SAMBA-I in Malawi and Uganda in over 50,000 patient samples. Dr Carmona from the NHLS South Africa will discuss the advantages and challenges of implementing centralised versus POC approach to viral load monitoring. Prof. Allain from University of Cambridge will present future POC needs, in particular the importance of identification of hepatitis virus co-infections with HIV. A round table discussion led by Dr Lee from DRW, attended by senior members of Department of Health from 4 sub-Saharan countries and NGO’s will highlight the practical needs for the successful implementation of POC and provide the audience with an opportunity to raise issues, share experience in an interactive manner.


Understanding of the considerations and challenges for implementing PoC in resource-limited settings.


Dr. Helen Lee, Diagnostics for the Real World, Ltd, Introduction.
President and CEO, Diagnostics for the Real World, Ltd.

Mr Robert Matiru, UNITAID, From innovation to scale-up: accelerating access to Viral load testing through novel technologies and holistic approaches.
Director of Operations, UNITAID.

Dr Sergio Carmona, WITS University – NHLS, Advantages and challenges of implementing centralised, near POC or POC viral load in resource-limited settings
Head of HIV Molecular Laboratory, WITS University – NHLS

Dr. Monique Gueguen, MSF, Improving access to viral load using SAMBA semi-quantitive test: 3-years experience in Uganda and Malawi
Laboratory Advisor, MSF

Dr. Jean Pierre Allain, University of Cambridge, Future products for POC
Professor, University of Cambridge

Round Table Discussion, What do we need to really succeed in PoC implementation
Representative from Department of Health from four sub-Saharan countries and International donor agencies like MSF and UNITAID.