Point-of-care diagnostic machines are a critical breakthrough in HIV early infant diagnosis. In the countries where they are being used, they are already saving the lives of infants living with HIV. The technology has been shown to work, we know it is cost-effective, now is the time to scale up – all HIV-exposed infants should have access to point-of-care diagnosis.
The Global Fund (GF) proposal development process and the USA President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) country operational plan (COP) processes are taking place right now – they are important opportunities to – all HIV-exposed infants should have access to point-of-care diagnosis (POC EID).
Why is early diagnosis so important?
When infants living with HIV are untreated, the disease progresses quickly. Without treatment, up to 50% of children living with HIV die before their second birthday. 1 Untreated infants living with HIV are particularly vulnerable in the first three months of their life. 2 To have the best chance of survival they need to be tested and started on treatment. So, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends EID, which means testing infants born to mothers living with HIV within the first 6 weeks of life.
GNP+ and partners developed a brief on the importance of point-of-care early infant diagnosis for advocates participating in the PEPFAR COP and Global Fund country proposal processes. You can find it here.