Malawi stands to benefit from the World Health Organisation (WHO) move to approve a mobile HIV viral load test designed by global healthcare company Abbot, called m-PIMA™ HIV-1/2 V.
m-PIMA™ HIV-1/2 V is specifically designed for resource-limited settings such as in sub-Saharan Africa, and WHO has given Abbot prequalification approval (WHO PQ).
“m-PIMA HIV-1/2 VL is the only truly portable molecular point-of-care test designed specifically for use in resource-limited settings such as in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Damian Halloran, vice president, Infectious Disease–Emerging Markets, Rapid Diagnostics, Abbott.
“With WHO PQ, global funders and ministries of health can now confidently expand access to viral load testing, reaching more people who need the test, with the most compact and efficient point-of-care HIV diagnostic platform available anywhere in the world today,” he said.
To provide the most effective HIV treatment and care, the WHO recommends that everyone receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) undergoes a viral load test at six months and 12 months, and annually thereafter, if the individual is stable on anti-retroviral treatment (ART).
Viral load testing is the gold standard for monitoring ART treatment failure. Unfortunately, very few people in resource-limited settings, such as Malawi and in most sub-Saharan African nations, Asia and Latin America, have access to the necessary level of care.
But according to Abbott, the m-PIMA HIV-1/2 VL platform is portable so it can be brought into the most remote locations.
“It’s easy to use, deployable at the point of care and designed to measure viral load in under 70 minutes, while the patient is still present. This allows people to receive results during the same visit and enables immediate treatment decisions, thereby reducing the number of people lost to follow-up,” reads a statement from the firm released on Thursday.
The test’s quick turnaround time is particularly valuable for monitoring the viral load of HIV-positive pregnant women and in cases of suspected HIV treatment failure, the global healthcare leader said.