July 25, 2012
International medicines financing mechanism UNITAID said on Monday it "will invest more than $140 million to evaluate point-of-care [PoC] HIV diagnostic and monitoring technology in seven African countries," PlusNews reports, adding, "New technology could help put more people living with HIV on treatment faster and improve care, UNITAID partners said at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C." (7/25). "The investment ... is being committed to projects implemented by the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), UNICEF and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to increase access to affordable point-of-care HIV diagnostics adapted for use in resource-poor settings," aidsmap notes in a news story (Smart, 7/24).
"UNITAID's money -- part of a three-year grant -- will go towards field-testing new PoC technology to diagnose babies born to HIV-positive mums early, and monitor HIV viral loads (the amount of virus in the blood) and CD4 counts (which measure the immune system's strength)," PlusNews writes, adding, "Point-of-care (PoC) technology provides health workers with access to complicated test results at the clinic level, but can also change how patients use the health system -- not always for the better" (7/25). "UNITAID has published reports on its website describing the current HIV diagnostics market landscape, and aidsmap will publish further reports on the issue over the coming days," aidsmap notes (7/24).
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