Roche, Clinton Foundation To Deliver HIV Tests To African Infants

Armen Hareyan's picture

Pharmaceuticalcompany Roche and the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative have partnered in an effort toincrease access to HIV testing among infants in 24 sub-Saharan Africancountries, Rwanda's New Times reports. According to theagreement, Roche will deliver diagnostic tests at reduced costs to childrenyounger than 18 months in the region who have been exposed to HIV. The companyalso will supply products to collect and process dried blood samples, whichwill be procured by CHAI. Dry blood spot methodology can provide advantages inresource-poor settings, where storage and transportation pose challenges(Buyinza, New Times, 2/6).

Knut Seifert, senior vice president of International Public HealthOrganizations for Roche, said that because infants are "particularlyvulnerable to the disease, it is crucial to know whether or not children havebeen exposed to HIV/AIDS as soon as possible," adding, "Together withCHAI, we are proud and happy to be able to bring in our diagnostics expertiseand products in order to make a difference for the youngest and most vulnerableHIV/AIDS patients" (Accra Mail/, 2/6).

According to 2007 statistics from the World HealthOrganization, morethan 90% of HIV cases among children occur in sub-Saharan Africa(New Times, 2/6).

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