Main | Thursday, October 10, 2013

CANADA: British Columbia To Launch HIV Test With 14-Day Post-Infection Result

The Vancouver Sun reports:
British Columbia will be the first province in Canada to use a more accurate HIV detection test that has greatly improved the diagnosis of early or acute HIV infection. The new test, which will be utilized provincially following the results of a study led by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, detects the virus as soon as one to two weeks after it enters the body, compared with up to four weeks using standard HIV testing. That’s important, because people have a higher risk of transmitting HIV to others during the earliest stage of infection.

The study, released Wednesday in the AIDS Journal, found that nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) greatly improved the diagnosis of early or acute HIV infection, according to a joint release by the BCCDC and the Provincial Health Services Authority. The study estimated that between 25 and 75 new HIV infections were avoided as a result of a pilot program that promoted the pooled NAAT method — a test developed in the U.S. — since April 2009 at six clinics accessed by gay and bisexual men in Vancouver.
The new test is more expensive and will only be used in "targeted settings where it will have the most impact."

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