Since 2014, the OPP-ERA project has supported Burundi in carrying out HIV viral load tests. The project is implemented in the ANSS laboratory (National Association for the Support of PLHIV), in close collaboration with the National Program for the Fight against AIDS (PNLS). ANSS is the most important association for HIV care delivery in Burundi with a patient cohort of almost 6000 PLHIV including 1000 children and 5460 under antiretroviral treatment.
From the beginning of the project, ANSS, supported by Sidaction, has carried out more than 20,000 viral load tests, for its patients and others patients from more than 15 associative and public structures throughout the country. OPP-ERA project has thus significantly increased access to viral load in the country.
Last May, Sidaction carried out a monitoring mission with Solthis coordination team of the project. This mission was also the occasion to organize a visit on the 30st of May, 2017 of the ANSS laboratory by the French Embassy Global Health Regional Advisor, Dr Christian TOSI. ANSS Direction and its teams presented the different services of Turiho center and the visit ended in the laboratory by exchanges with the laboratory technicians on the Open Polyvalent platforms, installed by the project. Dr TOSI congratulated ANSS for the quality of care and the results of the OPP-ERA project.
In Burundi, the second phase of the project which is ending in August 2019, involves the introduction of viral load testing in 3 new laboratories at INSP, CHUK and at Muyinga hospital and planned to open the OPP to tuberculosis and Infant early HIV diagnosis. The expansion of the project during this second phase should enable both to strengthen capacities of laboratories and to support Burundi to assess and reach UNAIDS’ 3*90 objectives to end HIV/AIDS epidemic: 90% of people living with HIV under treatment with an undetectable viral load.
Funded by Unitaid, OPP-ERA is co-funded and implemented by a consortium of French actors: Solthis (Therapeutic Solidarity and Health Initiatives), Leader of the consortium and Responsible for the project Implementation in Guinea; Expertise France, responsible for the project implementation in Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire; Sidaction, responsible for the prpject implementation in Burundi; and lastly ANRS), in charge of the project scientific direction