By providing viral load test results in less than 70 minutes, this life-changing technology allows patients to get tested and treated in the same visit and then get back to leading their best life.
Viral load tests measure the amount of HIV copies in the blood of a patient, and determine the type of Anti-Retroviral Treatment that will be effective.
Apart from making easing viral load tests and making results available shortly , the new technology is well to be usable by personnel that are not laboratory-trained in facilities that are not typical laboratory environments.
Dr Kuku Appiah, the Director of Medical and Scientific Affairs - Abbot Rapid Diagnostics has told IGIHE that the new technology will allow patients to get tested and treated at the same time.
He revealed this last week on his visit to Rwanda during discussions with health sector officials to assess whether the technology can be used locally.
m-PIMA™ HIV-1/2 VL was licensed by World Health Organization (WHO) to be used as the first technology to diagnose HIV loads timely from the time of infection.
According to Dr Kuku; “The system is built in a way that the test can be conducted at a health post from rural communities or closer to people in need of such services.
Before, it would require a laboratory but this technology will decentralize health services without necessity of experts. m-Pima can be used by any trained individual without advanced laboratory tests skills.”
The tool used for diagnostics has a built-in battery that it can work in the absence of electricity.
“As per WHO instructions, a person with over HIV/AIDS 1000copies/ml needs to change medicaments because health is not in proper conditions. This can only be achieved if there is capability to test HIV/AIDS loads. This is the uniqueness of the technology,” said Dr Kuku.
Rwanda already uses Abott services and is believed to be among countries with willingness to take advantage of new health care services technologies.
To provide the most effective HIV treatment and care, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that everyone receiving ART undergoes a viral load test at 6 months and 12 months, and annually thereafter, if the individual is stable on ART. Viral load testing is the gold standard for monitoring ART treatment failure.
The m-PIMA HIV-1/2 VL joins Abbott’s comprehensive portfolio of diagnostic solutions that span the entire HIV cascade of care, serving more than 120 countries globally and all 55 countries on the African continent.
Abbott has a long and deep heritage in HIV diagnostics, having introduced the world’s first HIV test in 1985. With a leading set of solutions for screening, monitoring, management and connectivity – from the lab to the point of care, Abbott is providing critical tools to healthcare providers, especially in resource-limited settings.