Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Method For HIV Testing Holds Promise For Developing World

Date:
July 23, 2009
Source:
Duke University
Summary:
A new technique that detects the HIV virus early and monitors its development without requiring refrigeration may make AIDS testing more accessible in sub-Saharan Africa.

A new technique that detects the HIV virus early and monitors its development without requiring refrigeration may make AIDS testing more accessible in sub-Saharan Africa.

According to UNAIDS, sub-Saharan Africa accounts for almost a third of all new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths globally. Yet there may be many people who do not get tested due to the high cost of treatment and minimal access to health care.

Duke Physician John Crump and a team of researchers recently completed a 10-month experiment at two remote sites in Tanzania. They examined Tanzanian infants born to HIV-infected parents and people with known HIV infections who needed monitoring of their viral loads. Viral load is a measurement used to diagnose HIV infection or determine the severity of HIV infection.

In the largest field study of its kind, researchers compared viral load measurements by using the current standard of frozen plasma and the alternative method of dried blood spots (DBS). The samples were measured at a central lab at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Moshi, some 250 and 350 kilometers away from the two study sites.

The Duke study found a strong correlation between viral load values in plasma and DBS, making the two testing approaches comparable. This finding could lay the foundation for a new way of testing for and monitoring patients with HIV in the future, according to Dr. John Bartlett, Duke Global Health Institute Associate Director for Research.

The sooner infants are diagnosed with HIV, the sooner they can receive life-prolonging medications to treat the disease. The infection cannot be detected in newborns using the typical HIV antibody test, and must be detected with other techniques, including viral load testing.

Viral load testing is also the optimal way for monitoring HIV infection in patients with known infections, especially for those receiving treatment.

But few labs in Tanzania perform the viral load procedure, and blood samples must be transported long distances to specialized medical facilities for testing. Plasma requires continuous cold storage during shipment, which can be challenging or impossible in resource-limited settings. This may prevent people from getting tested or result in inaccurate tests.

"Dried blood spots offer the advantage of not requiring cold storage," says Bartlett, who also points out that this method may result in lower total health care costs. "Before using it for care and treatment programs, it will need further evaluation. But, this is the largest field study of DBS's done to date, and the results appear promising."

The study findings were presented on Monday, July 20th in Cape Town, South Africa at the fifth HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention conference.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Duke University. "New Method For HIV Testing Holds Promise For Developing World." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090721111533.htm>.
Duke University. (2009, July 23). New Method For HIV Testing Holds Promise For Developing World. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090721111533.htm
Duke University. "New Method For HIV Testing Holds Promise For Developing World." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090721111533.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins