Steve and Carolyn Slupsky, the brother-and-sister founders of Metabolistics, report that their Edmonton-based company has received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Canada's National Research Council to develop a test that detects HIV from a urine sample. Metabolistics already uses urine samples to test for hepatitis, flu, and TB.
Carolyn Slupsky stated that infections like hepatitis and HIV cause "unique" changes in a person's urine; testing works by measuring those metabolic changes in a urine sample. The company claims two advantages for the testing method: A single urine sample can reveal the presence of HIV, hepatitis, and TB; and the test can also pinpoint how recently the HIV infection was acquired.
Funders of the Metabolistics HIV test project believe that early HIV diagnosis followed by prompt access to antiretroviral drugs can help to prevent further HIV transmission and reduce the number of new infections. Metabolistics will begin testing the urine sample method this year, and hopes to make HIV testing via urine samples available by next year.
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