A Survey of HIV Proficiency Testing Program in Taiwan

Cheng-Feng Kao1, 4, Chuan-Liang Kao2, Ying-Chen Lin2,Kuan-Lin Chen3,Tzu-Yu Fu1, Jyh-Yuan Yang1, Ho-Sheng Wu1

2010 Vol.26 NO.22

Correspondence Author: Cheng-Feng Kao


Laboratory report is an important basis for clinical diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Assuring the test quality is an important index for laboratories to provide a reliable report. To effectively control HIV in Taiwan, one of the most important parts is to maintain a good quality of laboratory test besides the full cooperation between relevant offices in governmental and non-governmental organizations. Only a laboratory with good analytical quality will provide an accurate result, and only on the basis of accurate laboratory test, an appropriate control policy can be established and HIV infection sources can be controlled effectively. The medical institutions performing HIV testing in Taiwan show large differences in scale and size and lack of an overall assessment on quality of laboratory test. In order to assess the quality of HIV analysis and, through the assessment, to promote the performance of HIV testing in Taiwan, we initiated a survey on the current situation of HIV testing at different levels of medical institutions and a proficiency testing program. In total, 368 institutions have participated in the proficiency testing program for HIV antibody assay and 22 institutions for HIV nucleic acids assay. The results show that all of the 240 institutions applying EIA technique correctly detected HIV antibody from six proficiency panel samples. For 156 institutions adopting PA assay for HIV antibody analysis, the concordance of the results was 98.7%. These data shows that HIV analytical ability of medical institutions performing EIA and PA method has reached a comparably high level. In addition, all participating institutions accurately identify a HIV-2 positive specimen. This means that reagents currently used in medical institutions in Taiwan can actually detect HIV-2 infected cases although the HIV-2 case has never been reported in this country. As to the proficiency testing for HIV nucleic acids assay, all 22 participating laboratories which affiliated with hospitals at or higher than regional level in scale or research institutes, the concordance of test results was 100%. This implies that the HIV nucleic acids assay in the large hospitals and research institutes in Taiwan stayed in a very high level of quality. HIV case identification and control policy making needs reliable laboratory data which is also a key factor for successful HIV control. Therefore, for HIV control, it is necessary to keep monitoring the quality of HIV screening test so that a correct analysis could be obtained.