Under the impetus of The International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases and through grants awarded to the ‘Integrated HIV Care’ Programme (IHC) with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, a fully automatic CD4 machine was installed in October 2011. Its use has been enhanced by training the Public Health Laboratory and the Union staff. About 100 CD4 tests are carried out each day for the patients from the IHC programme. CD4 tests evaluate the immunological status of patients and help clinicians not only decide when to start a patient on antiretroviral therapy, but also to monitor treatment success.Moreover, fully automated hematology and biochemistry machinery has also been installed. These analyzes may be necessary before the introduction of antiretroviral therapy and for monitoring patients.
With the support of Fondation Mérieux and in partnership with the Union, a molecular laboratory has been created within this model institution. This laboratory will complete the virological monitoring and diagnosis of HIV. By March 2012, the renovation and equipping of the facilities could be completed. Then Fondation Mérieux also organized the first training coursefor laboratory technicians and medical doctors from the National Health Laboratory, the Public Health Laboratory and The Union.
The training course was held at the Christophe Mérieux Centre of Infectiology of Laos, in collaboration with the Mandalay Public Health Laboratory and included:
training in molecular biology and use of specific equipment such as real-time PCR
training on HIV viral load, a highly sensitive technique used to measure the amount of HIV RNA in plasma, expressed usually as number of copies per/ml or logarithm of plasma.
A second training course was given by an expert at the Mandalay Public Health Laboratory in July 2012.
This laboratory will be benefit from a review to deliver quality diagnosis.