Point-of-care testing as a solution for timely early infant diagnosis2018-07-25T13:51:18+00:00

Project Description

Despite remarkable progress in prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), 160,000 children were newly infected with HIV in 2016. Less than half of HIV-exposed infants (HEI) received early infant diagnosis (EID) within 6 weeks of life, a major challenge for early antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV-positive infants. Although introduction of dried blood spot (DBS) has increased EID access, conventional laboratory networks have relatively long (22-60 days) turnaround time (TAT), resulting in low proportions of results returned, and missed opportunities for ART initiation.3 The WHO conditionally recommends introduction of point-of-care (POC)/ near-POC nucleic acid testing (NAT) for EID.

Recent encouraging evidence for POC/ near-POC EID warrants consideration of rapid adoption and strategic scaleup of this solution complementing the existing laboratory network.