Diagnostics and Laboratory Technology

WHO Technical Working Group Meeting on CD 4 Technologies
17 -19 November 2009, WHO Geneva

Access to antiretroviral therapy continues to expand at a rapid rate according to the the report, Towards universal access: scaling up priority HIV/AIDS interventions in the health sector . Forty two percent of the estimated 9.5 million people in need of treatment in 2008 in low- and middle-income countries had access to antiviral therapy compared to 33% in 2007.

As the number of patients with access to treatment increases, the need for point-of-care CD4 technologies expands. Levels of CD4+ T lymphocytes are a critical laboratory parameter for initiation and monitoring of the response to HIV antiretroviral treatment regimens as well as for determining the timing for initiation of chemoprophylaxis against opportunistic infections.

The technical working group meeting shared their experiences on currently available CD4 technologies, discussed and contributed to the finalization of the WHO guidance document on selection and use of CD4 technologies and the WHO tool box for establishing national CD4 external quality assessment schemes. In addition they provided expert advice for the WHO prequalification of the CD4 technologies.