Impact of COVID -19 diagnostic services on HIV viral load VL and Early Infant Diagnosis EID turn-around-time TAT in a reference testing laboratory in Kenya
In Kenya the first case of COVID-19 was reported in March 2020. The testing of SARSCOV-2 which causes COVID-19 was integrated into the molecular diagnostics infrastructure already inrnplace for HIV Viral Load and Early Infant Diagnosis of HIV. It is unknown whether this shift had anyrnimpact on VL and EID testing services in the relevant laboratories. Our study assessed the impact ofrnCOVID-19 testing on HIV VL and EID testing TAT in laboratories in Kenya
assessed the impact ofrnCOVID-19 testing on HIV VL and EID testing TAT in laboratories in Kenya
HIV VL and EID data on TAT collected between January 2019 to December 2020 wasrnabstracted from the HIV NASCOP database. The mean TAT for the year 2019 January to March 2020rnjust before Covid-19 testing commenced and April to December 2020 were computed to check for anrnincrease or decline in average TAT. Data analysis was conducted using STATA SE 14 for Windows.
The mean TAT for VL in 2019 was 6 days. Between January to March 2020 the mean TATrnwas 8 days. Between April to December 2020 the mean TAT was 11 days. The mean TAT for EID inrn2019 was 5 days while it was 9 days between January to March 2020. The average TAT was 8 daysrnbetween April and December 2020.
The increase in VL and EID average TAT observed throughout the study period couldrnbe attributed to the fact that the Covid-19 tests as well as HIV had to be tested on the few alreadyrnoverstretched equipment and with the limited human resources available. However the TAT could havernalso been affected by other factors that have not been examined in this study for instance reagent stockrnouts and machine breakdowns. In the face of another pandemic in future it would be important that thernrelevant stakeholders increase manpower mitigate on frequent stock outs and provide prompt action onrnmachine breakdowns.
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Publication Date: 01.Jan.1970
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