An estimated 220,000 people were living with HIV in Myanmar in 2017, according to UNAIDS. Approximately 127,000 people are currently on antiretroviral therapy, half of whom are monitored by NGOs. About 70,000 people have had access to viral load testing.
As part of its HIV program, UNAIDS has implemented the 90-90-90 goal:
- 90% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) know their HIV status,
- 90% of people diagnosed with HIV are on antiretroviral treatment, and
- 90% of people on treatment have an undetectable viral load.
In order to contribute to this goal, and in particular to the third component, we are setting up programs to strengthen diagnostic capacities for monitoring HIV viral load in order to ensure better follow-up of people living with HIV.
In order to increase the capacity of the Myanmar health system to perform viral load testing, we have developed, with the support of Expertise France through the Initiative, the LabMyNet HIV Viral Load (CV) Scale-Up Project in the country.
The goal of this project is to ensure HIV CV coverage of at least 80% of people receiving antiretroviral treatment by 2021, i.e. more than 182,000 people. Beyond this objective, it also contributes to the overall strengthening of the health system and to improving the diagnosis of other diseases such as hepatitis and tuberculosis among people living with HIV.
To do this, the project aims to:
- Improve the capacity of platforms performing viral load in Myanmar;
- Increase the demand for viral load tests in collaboration with prescribers and community-based organizations;
- Strengthen the National Health Laboratory (NHL) as the leader of the HIV CV laboratory network in the country.
The LabMyNet project is being deployed to the HIV CV laboratory network, consisting of seven platforms:
- 4 closed platforms: two in Yangon, one at the Public Health Laboratory in Mandalay and one at the Magway Laboratory, set up with the financial support of the Global Fund
- 3 open multipurpose platforms: one at the National Health Laboratory in Yangon, one at the Public Health Laboratory in Mandalay and one at the MTY clinic in Dawei
The objective is to increase the number of CVs produced each week and to facilitate the absorption of this scaling up by the teams of the seven platforms, coordinated by the National Health Laboratory.
The diversity of the platforms, both open and closed, offers a complementary approach that is essential to provide people living with HIV with uninterrupted access to viral load.
Working in partnership with local HIV/AIDS stakeholders, LabMyNet is helping to establish a “viral load task force” at the National Aid Program (NAP). People living with HIV, clinicians, laboratory staff, NAP, CDC, NGOs, international organizations, etc. are fully involved in the monitoring and guidance of the project.
At the end of the LabMyNet project, in 2021, the network of seven platforms will be operational in terms of human resources, infrastructure, equipment and procurement.
- NHL (National Health Laboratory)
- NAP (National Aid Program)
- MSF Hollande
- MSF Suisse
- The Union
- US CDC
- L’Initiative – Expertise France