As the country makes strides towards attaining the 90 90 90 UN Strategy that includes having all persons living with HIV with a suppressed viral load, Uganda needs to ready itself with some of the scientific evidence that comes with this.
The number of people testing negative with HIV after a long illness has called for introduction of newer testing technologies.
The Uganda National Health Laboratories is conducting a cohort of studies following reports of false negative tests by persons known to be living with HIV.
This was confirmed by Dr Susan Nabadda, the executive director, of the laboratories.
“True we have seen discrepancies where one is positive but tests negative and we are trying to study to study this,” she said.
Dr Nabadda argues that the loss of HIV-specific antibodies can lead to false-negative results on rapid HIV tests after successful long-term antiretroviral therapy. She however advises.
“In the meantime, we need to invest in higher technologies to be able to identify all bodies,” she said.
Dr Nabadda said to lead by example and rule out more false negative results, the national laboratories in Butabika has stopped using dry blood samples to test for viral load as has been the case.
Dr Ram Yogev a renowned scientist from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago warned that rapid HIV antibody tests are not as sensitive as laboratory-based ones.
It is estimated that 73% of people living with HIV in Uganda have a suppressed Viral load although the UNAIDS target is 90%.