RICHMOND, BC, December 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – bioLytical Laboratories, a world leader in rapid infectious disease tests, introduced the Company’s newest product, the INSTI HIV Self Test, to Kenya’s Pharmaceutical Association members.
bioLytical was invited by the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and the Kenya Pharmaceutical Association (KPA) to introduce the INSTI HIV Self Test to 350 pharmacy representatives in Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya. CHAI has been coordinating an innovative HIV self-testing initiative aimed at bringing low cost HIV self-tests into pharmacies in Kenya. The INSTI HIV Self Test was the only blood-based self-test invited to participate due to its unique features and performance characteristics.
Rick Galli, bioLytical’s Chief Technical Officer travelled to Kenya to meet with delegates of KPA in advance of this program launch. “Kenya is leading the way in bringing HIV self-testing into sub-Saharan Africa through the private sector” said Galli. “bioLytical is excited to lead in this ground-breaking initiative that will demonstrate how a low cost, accessible HIV self-testing program can be effective and empowering for individuals to take control of their health”.
With a network of over 7,000 regulated pharmacies throughout Kenya, this new initiative will allow access to HIV testing that is affordable to most Kenyans across the country, through local pharmacies, which are a vital link in the healthcare network.
The Kenyan HIV self-testing program will not only involve the distribution of home HIV tests, but will also include a network of support and linkage to care resources for any individuals who test positive. As a first line screening tool, the INSTI HIV Self Test is intended to identify individuals who are likely to be HIV infected and instruct them to go to a clinic as soon as possible for confirmatory testing and counseling on prevention and treatment. For those who test negative, self-testing is an empowering opportunity for individuals to take control of their prevention methods and remain HIV negative.
“For a new program like this to be successful, it is vital that proper counselling and linkage aspects are soundly addressed” says Galli. “We are working with CHAI, KPA and other stakeholders in Kenya to ensure that individuals who choose to use the INSTI HIV Self Test are properly informed on how and where to access the support they need after testing.”