Abbott joins Clinton Health Initiative to improve HIV testing in
23 Nov 2010
Pharmaceutical company Abbott and the Clinton Health Access
Initiative (CHAI) have joined forces to provide HIV testing to infants
in all countries.
A key focus of this cooperation will be sub-Saharan Africa, which
the World Health Organization estimates to account for 90% of global
HIV infections in children.
Abbott will supply its RealTime HIV-1 qualitative test kits to
healthcare facilities. The test is currently available for research
use only and is expected to be CE marked by January 2011. Abbott
will also offer the capability to collect and process samples using
dried blood spots (DBS). The use of DBS for specimen collection
eliminates the need for refrigeration of specimens.
In addition to the supply of HIV tests and DBS sample collection
for research use, Abbott is collaborating with CHAI to develop a
"turn-key" laboratory solution, including training protocols on
instruments that will be used to establish fully functioning
molecular diagnostic laboratories in regions where such facilities
do not currently exist.
"We're pleased to be collaborating with the CHAI in its proactive
outreach effort to test infants in developing nations for HIV," said
Stafford O'Kelly, head of Abbott's molecular diagnostics business.
"Accurate and accessible HIV testing, particularly for diagnosis of
HIV/AIDS in infants less than 18 months of age, is essential for
optimal management and treatment of the disease."