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HIV Viral Load

The Johannesburg PCR laboratory is one of the busiest NHLS PCR laboratories in the country currently processing approximately 40 000 viral load samples and 2000 early infant diagnosis HIV Qualitative samples per month. The HIV viral load tests have increased by 12% in the period under review from 436 422 samples in the financial year 2012 to 488 601 samples for the financial year 2013. The volume of this and other viral load samples is likely to double over the next 3 years if the minister of health’s HIV plans is to be implemented successfully. The laboratory also supports numerous clinical trials from several networks including HPTN, ACTG, and IAVI through CLS. This laboratory is a prime example of extreme automation of previously manual assays providing a platform to teach other aspects of improved work efficiency thus enabling reductions in time, staff and skill required.