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Frequently Asked Questions

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ART (Antiretroviral Therapy) is the combination of several antiretroviral medicines used to slow the rate at which HIV multiplies in the body.

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It is Dry Blood Sample

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After six months of being on ART. 

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They are done to monitor the rate at which the viral copies multiply in the body and then appropriate actions are taken.

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The clinician 

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Ensure the following are captured by a clinician;

  • Date of birth or age 
  •  Initiation date on ART
  • Being on ART for atleast 6 months
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VIRAL LOAD REJECTION CRITERIA FOR DBS SAMPLES

  • All Dry Blood spots on the card when less than the required size i.e. not filling the perforated area
  • Blood spots collected onto dirty/ soiled DBS card, compromising the specimen integrity.
  • DBS card with presence of serum rings i.e. improper drying (affecting the specimen integrity)
  • DBS card without ART and form number details (DBS card cannot be linked to request form)
  • DBS sample older than 3 weeks, VL test can’t be done on samples older than 3 weeks.
  • DBS sample sent on none perforated card (not able to get the right spot size during sample processing)
  • Dry Blood sample sent with less than 2 spots on the card filled
  • Patient’s dispatch form sent without patient’s identifications (ART number or Other number)
  • Mismatching ART number between the sample and form
  • Patient on ARVs for less than 6 months (doesn’t qualify for the Viral Load testing as per Algorithm)
  • Patient not yet initiated on ART (doesn’t qualify for the Viral Load testing as per Algorithm)
  • Patient with wrong date of treatment initiation i.e. date is beyond the current calendar date.
  • Patient with wrong date of treatment initiation i.e. date earlier than ART roll out.
  • Patient’s date of treatment initiation not included on the form thus failing to determine VL testing eligibility
  • Patient’s last viral load results given in less than 6 months
  • Sample not received at CPHL Lab (only the request form was received at the testing lab)
  • DBS sample being wet and having moulds thus compromising the sample integrity.
  • Two forms sent for the same sample (only dispatched results for one form)
  • Well labeled DBS card without any blood spots
  • Patient Viral Load results less than 1000cp/ml or Not Detected in less than 12 months. (Refer to testing Algorithm)
  • Patient Viral Load results above 1000cp/ml in less than 6 months. (Refer to testing Algorithm)
  • ART Number details shared by different patients from the same facility.
  • Wrong sample type sent to CPHL laboratories, Only Plasma and Dried Blood Spots (DBS) are required.

VIRAL LOAD REJECTION CRITERIA FOR PLASMA SAMPLES

  • Specimen sent to CPHL  laboratories with less than 0.75ml
  • Specimen sent to CPHL  laboratories haemolysed
  • Sample sent in a wrong container thus compromising the sample integrity. (use EDTA)
  • Sample delivered under wrong storage container thus compromising the sample integrity
  • Sample sent in a damaged container
  • Plasma sample container without ART and form number details (sample cannot be linked to request form)
  • Patient’s dispatch form sent without patient’s identifications (ART number or Other number)
  • Mismatching ART number between the sample and form
  • Patient on ARVs for less than 6 months (doesn’t qualify for the Viral Load testing as per Algorithm)
  • Patient not yet initiated on ART (doesn’t qualify for the Viral Load testing as per Algorithm)
  • Patient with wrong date of treatment initiation i.e. date is beyond the current calendar date.
  • Patient with wrong date of treatment initiation i.e. date earlier than ART roll out.
  • Patient’s date of treatment initiation not included on the form thus failing to determine VL testing eligibility
  • Patient’s last viral load results given in less than 6 months
  • Sample not received at CPHL Lab (only the request form was received at the testing lab)
  • Two forms sent for the same sample (only dispatched results for one form)
  • Well labelled cryovial container without any sample in it was sent to CPHL Lab.
  • Patient Viral Load results less than 1000cp/ml or Not Detected in less than 12 months (Refer to testing Algorithm)
  • Patient Viral Load results above 1000cp/ml in less than 6 months (Refer to testing Algorithm)
  • ART Number details shared by different patients from the same facility.
  • Wrong sample type sent to CPHL laboratories, Only Plasma and Dried Blood Spots (DBS) are required.

EID sample rejection criteria.

  • DBS card with traces of blood clots which will affect the sample integrity.
  • Sample sent with traces of serum rings due to improper drying and packaging
  • Sample with insufficient blood spots < 1/3 of a circle.
  • Dried Blood Spots collected onto a dirty DBS card (test requires clean card)
  • Infant above 18 months of age (right age is between 1.5 to 18 months old).
  • Mismatching ID/ Name between the sample and the form.
  • DBS card with scratched Dried Blood Spots (contaminated card)
  • Infant details written twice on the dispatch form. Results for one detail will be issued out.
  • DBS card sent to CPHL without any infant details(sample cannot be linked to request form)
  • DBS card sent to CPHL without any blood spot on it.
  • DBS sample not received at CPHL.
  • DBS card sent with overlapping blood spots (compromising the test integrity).
  • DBS sample packed and sent wet and having moulds (EID requires dried blood spots).
  • Sample sent for VL testing using a wrong requisition form.
  • Sample over stayed at the facility for more than 3 months (EID test requires dried fresh samples)
  • Sample sent without Infant’s age details (age is very important for EID test)
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It is in Butabika directly opposite Butabika National Referral Hospital 

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  • HIV viral load
  • EID(early infant diagnosis)
  • Sickle cell screening and confirmation
  • Hepatitis B surface Antigen
  • Bacteriological testing for both public health and clinical samples
  • Panel preparation for EQA for clinical chemistry and Haematology
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You can go to the nearest health facility where you were initiated on ART from.

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It is transported from the facility to this Laboratory for testing though a Hub system

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From reception, EID/ Sickle cell take 3days and viral load takes 4 days.

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  • when the image has a smiley face, it means your viral load is suppressed and you are responding positively to the drug
  • when the image has a sad facial expression, it means your viral load is non suppressing and you are not responding to the drug or you are not taking the drugs appropriately

 

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No. Results are only issued by a clinician 

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The tests are free. No need to pay for them.

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The clinician will call you when the results are ready

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For an adolescent after 6months and an adult after a year.For an adolescent after 6months and an adult after a year.