Kenya to get new HIV testing kit soon
The new kit dubbed M-PIMA HIV-1/2 VL is the first viral load point-of-care tool designed to provide healthcare professionals with a faster way to manage HIV by testing viral load at the point-of-care. The tool which underwent a successful trial in Kenya was launched recently at the ongoing International Aids Society Conference in Amsterdam. The tool manufactured by US-based healthcare company Abbott seeks to reach underserved communities mainly remote areas and comes at a time when viral load testing forms part of HIV management. The point-of-care tool was tested in Busia County by Prof Matilu Mwau, director of the Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases Control Research at Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). The kit was successfully tested in Kenya and in several other countries around 2011. It will be commercially available in Kenya next year. The new kit is expected to cut costs involved in viral load testing currently like transporting samples to the viral load testing labs and the results back to the clients.