Guinea: How to ensure quality care for HIV-infected patients?
Strengthen the quality of HIV care with viral load testing
A delegation of the OPP-ERA project, in collaboration with the project's partners in Guinea, including the HIV / AIDS and Hepatitis National Program (PNLSH), held training workshops for prescribers / clinicians in charge of HIV care in Conakry. The objective of these trainings was to improve the quality care for patients under HIV- treatment through the use of viral load tests' results.
By measuring the amount of virus in the blood, the viral load test allows to analyse the effectiveness of ART treatment in HIV - infected patients . A detectable viral load case requires a specific cascade of care for the patient: control after 3 months of follow-up & counselling for drug intake then adaptation of the treatment to the need of the patient. The follow-up of this cascade by clinicians and prescribers is essential for the quality care of patients. Anthony Billaud, OPP-ERA project Manager in Guinea
According to WHO data in 2016, sub-Saharan Africa still faces management difficulties with Patients' HIV treatments failures . The main difficulties put forward by clinicians are related to delays in obtaining the result of the viral load test from laboratories, the difficulty of having access to the patient's result during the consultation, the uncertain availability of adapted drugs (ARV 2nd line), the absence of psychosocial assistants in charge of therapeutic education and finally the lack of specific training and tutoring. Thus, the OPP-ERA project's mission focused on strengthening the capacity of clinicians to interpret the results of viral load tests, to manage therapeutic failures, disseminated tools to monitor patients clinical evolutions.
Strengthen data management to more easily identify patients with therapeutic failure
In addition, officers in charge of data collection & management from partner laboratories, as well as the PNLSH's monitoring and evaluation unit, also benefited trainings in the use of a new database and monitoring form of the OPP-ERA project ' s activities. The goal is twofold: to be able to identify more easily patients with therapeutic failure and quickly take the necessary measures for quality management and secondly, to be able to hand more accurate reports on the improvment of HIV viral load testing in Guinea.
These missions are part of a bigger plan to strengthen the competences of HIV stakeholders in Guinea in order to improve the quality of HIV-infected patients' follow-up. They therefore contribute to UNAIDS 'goals to multiply solutions so that by 2030, 90% of HIV-infected patients have an undetectable viral load . Anthony Billaud, OPP-ERA project Manager in Guinea.