DIAGNOSTIC AND POINT OF CARE TECHNOLOGY
Expanding access to essential medicines in the fight against HIV/AIDS must also to fight for an increased access to better, more affordable diagnostic and monitoring tools are central objectives of the MSF Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines. The timely identification of the need for prescribing second line HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) goes with access to appropriate monitoring tools to identify first-line treatment failure. Currently, MSF HIV programs mainly monitor ART treatment failure based on clinical symptoms and CD4+ immune cells counts. Recent evidences, summarized in this report, illustrate that these measures are inadequate, and that too often, they lead to a switch of therapy too late or too early with dire consequences for both the individual patient and the public health system at large. Viral load (VL) testing is currently the best tool to accurately identify, confirm and to a certain extent quantify treatment failure. But, while the test is routinely used in higher income countries, it remains a luxury in resource-limited countries, mainly because of the high overall costs and complex infrastructure required to perform the assay.
IN COLLABORATION WITH:
- MSF Acess Campaign and in particular:
- Dr. Tido van Schoen-Angerer
- Dr. Eric Goemaere
- Emmanuel Fajardo
MSF report available on demand
Reports and literature are also available here: http://www.msfaccess.org/common-tags/hiv-viral-load
This project aims to identify Point of Care (PoC) technology that can be best adapted to field conditions in countries with limited medical resources and reach populations in need.