Abbott joins Clinton Health Initiative to improve HIV testing in Africa

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."


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