Early viral load testing (at 6 months)
This indicator measures progress towards promoting early adherence and VLS on ART.
- WHO currently recommends VL testing for all people living with HIV at 6 months after ART initiation to assess VLS and, in the event of non-suppression, to identify persons in need of intensive adherence counselling and follow-up.
- This indicator is central to understanding early non-adherence risk and to enable critical interventions to improve adherence and VL suppression and reduce the risk of HIV drug resistance.
- This indicator is closely related to VL monitoring.
Number of ART patients who were eligible for VL monitoring at 6 months after initiation of ART during the reporting period and who had VL monitoring at 6 months (1) and received their results
(1) Consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection: recommendations for a public health approach - second edition. Geneva: WHO; 2016 (https://www.who.int/hiv/pub/arv/arv-2016/en).
Number of ART patients eligible for VL monitoring at 6 months after initiation of ART during the reporting period
For the numerator and denominator. Programme records (for example, ART register, cohort reporting forms, patient records, laboratory information systems)
The time window for early VL monitoring can include a margin of +/- 1 month, that is, a routine VL test can take place anytime from 5-7 months after initiation of ART.
- Gender (male, female, transgender)
- Age (0-4, 5-9, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-49, 50+)
- Key populations (men who have sex with men, people living in prisons and other closed settings, people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender people)
- Other specific priority populations.
WHO Strategic Information Guidelines, 2020 (https://indicatorregistry.unaids.org/sites/default/files/9789240000735-eng.pdf)