In the global scale-up of HIV testing and treatment, rapid diagnostic tests are the cornerstone of HIV diagnosis. However, despite their relative simplicity, HIV misdiagnosis still occurs due to human error, poor storage and transportation conditions of test kits, and challenges such as inadequate training and supervision.
FIND is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local implementing partners in Kenya, Zambia, Uganda and Ethiopia as part of the HIV Rapid Test Quality Improvement Initiative to improve the quality of HIV rapid testing by:
- Supporting changes in national policies related to quality assurance of rapid HIV testing;
- Introducing the use of dried tube specimens to test the proficiency of testers;
- Using standardized registers to record test results, and following up on corrective actions;
- Providing comprehensive training on correct use of rapid HIV tests with certification of testing sites and individual testers; and
- Post-market surveillance.
Quality Corps Volunteers or “Q-Corps” support health personnel in the quality assurance cycle by providing feedback to sites and supporting them to implement corrective actions. FIND is working with the CDC to expand Q-Corps activities in Central Asia and Mozambique.