Since the 2003 launch of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the number of people around the world receiving HIV treatment has increased by 300 times and an estimated 25 million lives have been saved. But the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how tenuous that achievement is—and how important public health laboratories are to national and global efforts to track and slow the spread of disease.
That’s why in late 2022, the US government kicked off a new five-year PEPFAR strategy. The strategy puts laboratory systems front and center, with the goals of strengthening the laboratory workforce and enhancing laboratory systems and services for more efficient and reliable testing for HIV, tuberculosis and HIV-related diseases.
APHL's PEPFAR Cooperative Agreement Renews Focus on Laboratory Systems
In Fall 2023, APHL was awarded a new cooperative agreement with PEPFAR and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To help fulfill the goals of the agreement, APHL has convened the Laboratory Improvement Partnership (LIP)—a coalition of laboratory and clinical organizations—to assist PEPFAR countries with a host of laboratory needs, including:
- Laboratory workforce training
- Laboratory informatics/data systems
- Integrated diagnostic networks
- Clinical-laboratory interface
- Public health preparedness and response
By closing gaps in the global laboratory response to HIV, these efforts aim to build on the 20-year legacy of PEPFAR, which has saved an estimated 25 million lives by providing HIV treatment in countries around the globe.
Laboratory Improvement Partnership
The LIP is a coalition of five laboratory and clinical organizations with significant experience implementing PEPFAR laboratory activities globally. LIP organizations understand the HIV/AIDS landscape and are eager to use their unique expertise to support efforts toward PEPFAR goals related to laboratory functions.
The LIP's efforts build on-the-ground experience for your laboratory personnel, with the ultimate goal of local organizations assuming direct management of PEPFAR-supported activities.
APHL coordinates the activities of the LIP, facilitating collaboration and the efficient use of each partner's capabilities for maximum effectiveness.
Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL)
APHL has been an implementing partner for CDC since PEPFAR's inception. A recognized leader in laboratory capacity strengthening and development, APHL customizes its program engagement to each country's diverse needs. APHL takes a systems approach and looks for solutions that are sustainable long-term and fit within national policies and strategic plans. A membership organization and network hub for US public health and diagnostics laboratories, APHL harnesses the expertise of its members to identify solutions and strategies for laboratory challenges faced by PEPFAR countries all over the world.
Capabilities: Biosafety and biosecurity; informatics and data modernization; laboratory accreditation; laboratory leadership and management;
quality assurance and quality testing; strategic plans;
Location: APHL has country offices in Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Oman, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam and Zambia, and is actively
working in many more.
American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
The world's largest professional membership organization for pathologists and laboratory professionals, ASCP has collaborated with CDC since 2004 in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, including four consecutive PEPFAR cooperative agreements or subawards. Founded in 1928, the Chicago-based organization offers certifications internationally to medical laboratory professionals, with 21 unique ASCP certifications awarded to over 26,000 individuals in 127 countries. ASCP also provides trainings to laboratory lab professionals and educators, and has supported nearly 300 educational institutions in improving their medical laboratory training curriculum and faculty expertise. Learn more.
Capabilities: Continuing education and professional development; quality improvement and accreditation; mentoring and leadership development; certification and professional licensure; professional society development and twinning; monitoring and evaluation.
Location: Regional and national advisory boards are present on six continents.
An independent nonprofit organization founded in 1995, CRDF Global partners with governments, research institutions, universities, local and international organizations, and the private sector to strengthen systems for the prevention, detection and effective response to disease threats. CRDF Global has delivered more than 2,400 global health projects, including three active cooperative agreements with CDC in support of PEPFAR and the Global Health Security Agenda. Learn more.
Capabilities: Emergency preparedness; emerging pathogen and respiratory virus detection; laboratory data sharing; molecular epidemiology.
US Pharmacopeia (USP)
A leading global provider of laboratory support for medical products, USP has been expanding access to quality medical products for over 200 years. Along with holding agreements with USAID and the Global Fund to optimize diagnostic networks in priority countries, USP is a trusted partner to countries seeking to improve their WHO Global Benchmarking Tool maturity level, achieve WHO prequalification designation for medical manufacturers or attain ISO accreditation for their laboratory systems.
Capabilities: Diagnostic network optimization.
University of California San Francisco (UCSF)
A university technical assistance partner for PEPFAR since 2003, UCSF is a global leader in novel laboratory methods and tuberculosis diagnostics. Its
Institute for Global Health Sciences has worked in CDC PEPFAR countries since 2004, while the
Chan Zuckerberg Biohub provides resources to support sustainable scientific platforms in labs around the world. For more than a decade, UCSF’s
Center for Global Strategic Information and Public Health Practice has helped country stakeholders increase their capacity to use data to guide evidence-based responses to the HIV epidemic.
Capabilities: Epidemiologic surveillance; health informatics; education and training; case-based surveillance; health data warehousing; health information systems assessments.
Location: UCSF has registered entities and full-time staff in Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
Engage With The LIP Coalition
Thanks to the cooperative agreement, any PEPFAR country can work with APHL and the LIP. Contact APHL at
firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.