60 Second HIV Test Could Make the Difference in African Countries Plagued by the Epidemic
Richmond, B.C. - Oct. 8, 2011. Canadian life sciences firm bioLytical Laboratories is currently working to increase the availability of the firm's INSTI HIV Rapid Antibody Test, which is able to detect HIV antibodies in just one minute.
"Ease of use and speed to result allow many more tests to be administered and people to find out their results almost instantaneously," says bioLytical Chief Technical Officer Rick Galli. "We are committed to increasing access to our test. Its our belief that rapid testing leads to earlier detection which leads to better outcomes and ultimately reduces the spread of the virus."
"Ultimately, we think African countries plagued by this devastating disease could benefit from a similar program to that which is being piloted here in British Columbia. Test and Treat involves finding and treating high-risk individuals who are undiagnosed or untreated for HIV," says Galli.
Test and Treat aims to increase HIV testing and expand access to medications among hard-to-reach populations to significantly reduce or eliminate the viruses ability to spread. The INSTI test, the first of its kind in the world, is an integral part of the seek or test element of the program, as the test can be given in a wide variety of settings, producing instant, accurate results.
Having recently returned from a trip to the African countries of Uganda, Zambia and Kenya, Vice President, Business Development Lesley Schopp says, "It's clear that incorporation of INSTI technology into national testing algorithms could play an important role in extending the success of testing programs, an important first step in linking patients to care and reducing the spread of the virus."
In the urban areas of Zambia, such as the Copperbelt and Lusaka, as many as 25% of people are HIV positive. Women and girls are especially vulnerable to the epidemic: at the end of 2006, 57% of the adults living with HIV in Zambia were women.
In Nairobi, Kenya, about 7% of all adults (ages 15-49) are HIV positive and in some areas the rates are closer to 15%. While the epidemic affects every segment of the population, Kenya's 2009 modes of transmission analysis found that new infections were most likely to occur between heterosexual partners in steady relationships.
Significant resources have been spent developing the INSTI test and bringing it to the marketplace. bioLytical is committed to working with key stakeholders to improve access to its technology.
For more information, call bioLytical at 888-316-0351 or visit www.biolytical.com.
Laura Ballance Media Group