Kenya Acquires New Diagnostic Tools to Fight against HIV in Africa

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Kenya has adopted a new diagnostic tool by Hologic Inc. known as Aptima® HIV-1 Quant Dx to fight against HIV in South and Eastern Africa. The new tool will make it easy for laboratories to monitor and diagnose HIV infections in the country and also overcome multiple challenges faced by local laboratories. The tool provides high throughput per square meter of any comparable molecular diagnostics instrument that can make big difference in rural labs.

According to Matilu Mwau, the Director of Infectious Diseases Research at KEMRI, the tool is important in early infant diagnosis to improve prevention and to treat interventions, and peak morality takes place between six weeks to four month of age who have HIV infection. Moreover, Kenya aims to offer HIV viral load testing to 1.5 million people annually.

Hologic Inc. has designed Aptima HIV-1 Quant Dx keeping in mind the specific needs of the laboratories for viral diagnosis in Africa. The company also plans to partner with international organizations and local authorities to help fight HIV in Africa. Meanwhile, with more people becoming aware of HIV, access to accurate testing is the first step in preventing the HIV spread in the country. However, various factors continue to hamper the progress including lack of access to laboratories and inadequate infrastructure for testing.

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The company has also launched an Initiative known as Hologic Global Access in partnership with MedAccess and Clinton Health Alliance Initiative, under this the HIV-1 Quant Dx assay will be offered at the price of $12 without any upfront cost and capital expenditure in around 50 nations in Africa including Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.

The company also anticipates testing 300-400,000 Dried Blood Spot (DBS) specimens in 2019 and also look forward to technologies that can provide maximum output with minimum input.

With technological advancements, molecular diagnostic reagents are emerging as the key products that is required in the most diagnosis procedures. Currently, PCR-based diagnosis, a molecular diagnostic reagent has gained popularity as compared to other products. New molecular diagnostics tool are also being developed for easy testing and quick results. For instance, the National Institute of biologics developed for in-vitro for HIV diagnosis.

Various molecular diagnostic laboratories are also conducting the test for molecular diagnostic reagents kits to be used for blood donor screening for HIV and hepatitis. Meanwhile, new technologies that can help biologists to analyze huge amount of genomic data. Rapid amplicon detection, low cost polymerase chain reaction device and combination of both are the new technologies in the molecular diagnostic reagents that are used in cancer testing, genetic testing, and testing for other diseases.

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Increasing investment in the research and development activities by governments across various countries and biomarkers are fueling the growth in the molecular diagnostic reagents market. Manufacturers are also focusing on developing new biomarker solutions to offer an easy diagnosis. Healthcare institutes and laboratories are also moving towards using molecular biomarkers, especially in cancer diagnosis as a part of the routine checkup.




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