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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 134  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 779-786

HIV testing in developing countries: What is required?


Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Bharat S Parekh
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Center for Global Health, 1600 Clifton Road, Bldg 15/Room 2611, MS-G19, Atlanta, GA 30329
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.92625

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HIV diagnostic and follow up testing are usually done in laboratory settings. However, in developing countries there is a need to decentralize testing as the majority of the population lives in rural settings. In developing countries stringent quality assurance (QA) practices, which include appropriate training, development of standard operating procedures, maintenance of operator proficiency, routine use of quality control (QC) specimens, standardized data management, equipment calibration and maintenance, and biohazard safety with proper disinfection/disposal procedures are not routinely followed to ensure reliability of results and a safe work environment. The introduction of point-of-care testing technologies involving the use of non-laboratorians in routine testing has further increased the complexity of QA. Therefore, a careful approach towards improvement of laboratories that encourages best practices, coupled with incentives, and review of government policies in point-of-care testing is needed to improve quality of testing as decentralization takes place. Development of a functional laboratory tiered network that facilitates communication, referral, training and problem solving could further enhance confidence in laboratory testing. There is also a need for special considerations in implementing a step-wise approach towards quality improvement, strengthening of the supply chain management, human capacity development, infrastructure upgrade, and strong public private partnerships to ensure long term sustainability of these efforts.


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