The Department of HIV & AIDS (DHA) in the Ministry of Health (MOH), in conjunction with its stakeholders that included implementing partners, other units within the MOH and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), under the umbrella of the “Civil Society Forum on HIV and Other Opportunistic Infections” embarked on a journey aimed at harmonizing different practices in HIV viral load monitoring among healthcare service providers in Malawi.
The goal of producing these Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) was therefore targeted at fostering standardization across all levels of care to ensure HIV viral load monitoring remains a basic right offered to all people living with HIV (PLHIV) on lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) regardless of their location and place where they are accessing care.
These SOPs are designed to provide practical information to healthcare providers. They must be considered as supplementary and secondary to all guidelines issued by the MOH, including the Malawi Clinical Management of HIV in Children and Adults Guidelines and the Malawi HIV Testing Services (HTS) Guidelines.
These SOPs will be made available to all health facilities offering ART. All healthcare providers offering ART must utilize this manual to improve patient care by offering better and proven methods of patient education on viral load monitoring, screening, identification, testing, sample handling & transport and, most importantly, utilization of results.