Recent Activities - 2018

NRL Training: Improving the Quality of HIV Testing Services in Myanmar

In December 2013, the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board called on UNAIDS to support country- and region-led efforts to establish new targets for HIV treatment in an effort to address the global AIDs epidemic1.  A set of goals were established to address and enhance universal testing and treating of HIV based on the 90-90-90 concept;

  • By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status.

  • By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy.

  • By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression1

In an effort to attain the UN 90-90-90 goals, Myanmar are decentralising HIV testing as a means to deliver improved testing services to key populations, many of whom remain undiagnosed.  However this is not without its challenges around accuracy, adequacy of staff training, correct interpretation of algorithms, local environment and overall quality of testing.

Through a Cooperative Agreement between the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Society for Clinical Pathology, and with funding from the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, NRL continued its sub-contract to support improvements in the quality of HIV testing services in Myanmar. 

In December 2018, CDC Atlanta delivered a training workshop on “HIV Rapid Test Continuous Quality Improvement Training”.  The training was aimed at high and mid-level laboratory professionals from the National Health Laboratory in Yangon as well as various states and regions, and program leads and managers from the National AIDS Program who oversee quality assurance activities for HIV rapid testing. NRL supported the training as a co-presenter and co-facilitator of activities and discussions, and will provide further technical support for associated follow-up activities.

  1. 90-90-90: An ambitious treatment target to help end the AIDS epidemic, accessed 9 January, <http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/909090>

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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