New infant HIV diagnostic test that produces rapid results

Professor Landon Myer from UCT School of Public Health piloted the testing of a device, which could cut down the diagnosis time of HIV testing on babies drastically.

The Alere q HIV-1/2 was invented in the United States, and was recently awarded World Health Organisation pre-qualification, making it available for public sector use.

Professor Myer says up until now, HIV testing in infants required a time consuming exclusively laboratory based test.

He says this new machine could be used in a clinic setting and could provide a diagnosis within an hour.

Landon says that this device will also allow the possibility of treating these infants almost immediately and reduce infant mortality. He says research shows that rapid treatment of babies is key to saving lives.

landon says the cost of this new device could be slightly more expensive, but they are waiting to hear the numbers from the manufacturer.

The benefits of doing this point of care testing and the ability to start children immediately on treatment is cost effective compared to laboratory based test.

Professor Landon Myer, professor of epidemiology at UCT

Listen to the full conversation below:

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