30 March 2018 - HIV viral load is a key indicator for both patient management and epidemic control. This measure of the volume of HIV RNA particles in a patient’s blood can indicate whether a given treatment regimen is working. The lower the viral load, the less chance a patient has of transmitting the virus. On March 27, the USAID SHIFT project joined with the Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC), the Vietnamese Ministry of Health’s Department of Social Services and the Hanoi Preventive Medicine Center to train more than 40 health service and facility personnel on viral load (VL) testing through social health insurance (SHI), or “SHI-for-VL.” The workshop reinforced the importance of monitoring HIV patients’ viral loads to achieve suppression, as well as the policies and procedures involved in securing SHI reimbursements for VL tests. While acutely focused on achieving epidemic control, HIV stakeholders in Vietnam must also increase the sustainability of HIV services for the long-term. Through SHI-for-VL, the USAID SHIFT project is helping national and local partners make progress against these twin aims.