Recent Activities - 2019

NRL Training: Validation of Two New HIV Testing Algorithms in PNG

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) most recent epidemiological data, estimates the prevalence of HIV in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to be approximately 0.8% (0.7% – 0.9%) and as a result PNG would be considered a low prevalence setting.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend that in a low HIV prevalence setting (<5%), a three test, HIV confirmatory testing algorithm should be implemented.  This recommendation is based on the low positive predictive value observed for test kits used in low prevalence settings and is intended to reduce the likelihood of false positive results. 

Currently PNG are using a two test HIV algorithm and under WHO funding, NRL provided technical assistance to validate two additional HIV testing algorithms, both of which will use three tests for the confirmation of HIV status. One algorithm will be used in point of care settings and one will be used for reference testing in the major laboratories.  Following the release of the validation report, the next phase of this initiative is to implement a pilot study to assess the performance of these algorithms ahead of a proposed national roll out, if successful.

PNG Trainee during the validation of two new HIV testing algorithms.

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NRL is designated a WHO Collaborating Centre for Diagnostics and Laboratory Support for HIV and AIDS and Other Blood-borne Infections