Fri | Aug 18, 2017

New rapid testing HIV method introduced by US company

Published:Saturday | April 16, 2016 | 4:30 AM

Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF), a US based Non Governmental Organization (NGO) dedicated to the care of persons infected with HIV/AIDS, has introduced the 'Insti-Test' a new rapid testing method considered to be 99.9 per cent effective in detecting HIV antibodies in infected persons in just one minute.

The group joined with local NGOs to stage a HIV testing clinic in the Spanish Town bus park Friday in which scores of residents got tested for HIV/AIDS.

Director of Advocacy and Rapid Testing for Latin America and the Caribbean Miriam Ruiz Mendoza told The Gleaner that the main role of the organisation is to invite people to get tested so that they can know their status.

"We provide the testing through these wonderful NGOs here in Jamaica and other counties," stated Mendoza.

“Our commitment is to help people who are infected to go into the health system and stay there," he continued.

She added: "The 'Insti-Test' that we performed, if the result is positive for HIV antibodies, we usually followed up with another rapid test of a different brand and do the confirmation right on the spot."

"Depending on the norms of the country and abiding by the World Health Organization's guideline, if a positive confirmation is made, that person can be put in treatment a few days after," Mendoza pointed out.

Jamaica Aids Support for Life Research and Communications Coordinator Nickalay Jones said "We want to see how many people would be coming to get tested because you can know your status in only one minute, this is what AHF is partnering with us to introduce to Jamaica."

Meanwhile, Director for Training and Programs for Eve for Life, Joy Crawford, told The Gleaner that the community outreach in Spanish Town came at the end of a two-day training in rapid testing.

"This gives us an opportunity to look at the model they are using in rapid testing internationally, and see how it aligns with what we are doing and how we can interface and integrate the best practices of both groups," Crawford observed.

Other participating NGOs were the Jamaica Red cross, Jamaica Network for Sero Positives and RISE Management.