UNAIDS developed the 95-95-95 strategy to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic by 2030. Despite significant success in the first two 95s of (identifying 95% people living with HIV and initiating 95% of these on ART ), challenges still exist in achieving viral load (VL) suppression in 95% of people living with HIV(PLWHIV) on treatment (third 95); especially among children and adolescents
The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) awarded a grant (project) to the Eastern Africa Consortium for Clinical Trials (EACCR2) titled “Use of Point of Care HIV Viral Load Monitoring to improve Viral Load Suppression among Children and Adolescents Living with HIV in East Africa (EAPOC-VL).
The purpose of EAPOC-VL project is to examine the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of using point of care viral load(PoC VL) monitoring to improve virological suppression among children and adolescents (age 0-19) years) living with HIV in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The intervention to be implemented and studied is the use of point of care (PoC VL) at peripheral health centers that will be compared with the standard of care (centralized VL testing done at specialized laboratories). This implementation research project will be a cluster randomized study in which selected health facilities in the participating countries will be randomized to either use PoC or standard of care to test for HIV viral load.
The overall aim of the EAPOC-VL project is to evaluate feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of using PoC HIV VL monitoring to improve viral load suppression rates among children and adolescents living with HIV in East Africa.
EAPOC-VL is part of the EDCTP programme supported by the European Union under grant agreement : RIA2019R-2873.