Contribution of PEPFAR-Supported HIV and TB Molecular Diagnostic Networks to COVID-19 Testing Preparedness in 16 Countries

Emerg Infect Dis. 2022 Dec;28(13):S59-S68. doi: 10.3201/eid2813.220789.


The US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) supports molecular HIV and tuberculosis diagnostic networks and information management systems in low- and middle-income countries. We describe how national programs leveraged these PEPFAR-supported laboratory resources for SARS-CoV-2 testing during the COVID-19 pandemic. We sent a spreadsheet template consisting of 46 indicators for assessing the use of PEPFAR-supported diagnostic networks for COVID-19 pandemic response activities during April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, to 27 PEPFAR-supported countries or regions. A total of 109 PEPFAR-supported centralized HIV viral load and early infant diagnosis laboratories and 138 decentralized HIV and TB sites reported performing SARS-CoV-2 testing in 16 countries. Together, these sites contributed to >3.4 million SARS-CoV-2 tests during the 1-year period. Our findings illustrate that PEPFAR-supported diagnostic networks provided a wide range of resources to respond to emergency COVID-19 diagnostic testing in 16 low- and middle-income countries.

Keywords: HIV; PEPFAR; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus disease; laboratories; molecular diagnostic techniques COVID-19; respiratory infections; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; tuberculosis; vaccine-preventable diseases; viruses; zoonoses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19* / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pathology, Molecular
  • SARS-CoV-2