, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 31-37
Date: 24 Dec 2010

Point-of-Care Testing

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Abstract

The availability of rapid, point-of-care (POC) tests has significantly expanded the capacity of both developed and resource-constrained countries (RCCs) to diagnose HIV, with immunochromatographic tests most commonly used in these settings. This has been especially important in programs for prevention of mother-to-child transmission, in both RCCs and the developed world. However, suitable POC tests are not yet commercially available for diagnosis of neonatal HIV, where persistence of maternal antibody in the infant precludes the use of current antibody tests during the first 12 to 18 months. In addition, measurement of CD4+ T cells, CD4%, and HIV viral load still relies on sophisticated laboratory infrastructure, constraining the delivery of appropriate care to many HIV-infected patients. Continued effort is required in the development and validation of additional POC tests to support HIV patient care, and in quality assurance in manufacturing and in test performance in the field to ensure appropriate use of existing and new POC tests.