New user-friendly method to diagnose HIV infectionhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/new-userfriendly-method-to-diagnose-hiv-infection/

New user-friendly method to diagnose HIV infection

With an idea to diagnose early HIV infection in women,children and TB infected people,the AIDS control organization is all set to expand its new testing technique.

With an idea to diagnose early HIV infection in women,children and TB infected people,the AIDS control organization is all set to expand its new testing technique — Whole Blood Fingerprick Testing Technique (WBFTT) — to front line workers.

The new rapid testing technique,trials of which were done last year is much easier and will now also be used by Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANMs),to test pregnant women at their door steps.

“The status can be ascertained within 15-20 minutes and is much easier as there is no requirement of having to separate serum and red blood cells to test HIV. There is also no need to have a trained technician to use this method,which happens in case of the method used to separate serum” said Dr Suresh Mohammed,national programme officer,Integrated Counseling and Testing Center (ICTC).

While ICTCs were introduced in India in 1997,there are many who don’t go to the centers and get themselves screened. “Out of the total estimated people living with HIV/AIDS in India,only 40-50 per cent know their status. We need to track the others. The whole idea therefore is to expand the testing so that more and more people can be diagnosed at the earliest,” said K Sujatha Rao,secretary,AIDS control organization.

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The trials of the new user-friendly technique have been conducted in Andhra Pradesh,Karnataka,Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Satisfied with the results,the AIDS control organization decided to expand it further. The organization at present is in the process of procuring testing kits.

The WBFTT has been used in other countries and has resulted in more people getting tested for HIV. The AIDS control organization,from the year 2012,aims to test 22 million Indians every year for HIV.