Price of HIV early infant diagnosis reduced by 35%

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UN-backed initiave announces deal to sharply lower price of HIV early infant diagnosis. UNAIDS File Photo/D. Kwande

The price of diagnosing the HIV virus in infants has been reduced by 35 per cent, the UN has announced.

Half of all children born with HIV will die by the age of two and the majority will die by the age of five.

Daniel Dickinson reports.

The World Health Organization, (WHO) recommends that all children exposed to HIV receive early infant diagnostic screening within the first two months of life.

Many infants in low- and middle-income countries are not screened, in part because of the cost.

A partnership between the UN's Diagnostics Access Initiative and the pharmaceutical company Roche Diagnostics has reduced the price of testing by 35 per cent to just under US$10 a test.

Diagnostics Access Initiative was launched in July 2014 by the UN agency which focuses on HIV and AIDS, UNAIDS.

The initiative calls for improving laboratory capacity to ensure that all people living with the virus can be linked to effective, high-quality HIV treatment services.

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé said the agreement was "a powerful step towards ending the unconscionable failure of the world to meet the treatment needs of children living with HIV."

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1’08″

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