Malawi, Zambia to benefit from new HIV test kit by global healthcare company Abbott

The m-PIMA™ HIV-1/2 V

By Maravi Express Reporter

Malawi, Zambia  and other sub-Sahara African countries stand to benefit from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) decision to approve a mobile HIV viral load diagnostic test kit called m-PIMA™ HIV-1/2 V, which has been designed by global healthcare company, Abbot.

The m-PIMA™ HIV-1/2 V is specifically designed for resource-limited settings such as in sub-Saharan Africa, and WHO has given Abbot prequalification approval (WHO PQ).

“m-PIMA HIV-1/2 VL is the only truly portable molecular point-of-care test designed specifically for use in resource-limited settings such as in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Damian Halloran, Abbot’s vice-president (Infectious Disease – Emerging Markets, Rapid Diagnostics) in a statement.

Damian Halloran

“With WHO PQ, global funders and ministries of health can now confidently expand access to viral load testing, reaching more people who need the test, with the most compact and efficient point-of-care HIV diagnostic platform available anywhere in the world today,” he said.

Halloran said Abbott’s m-PIMA HIV-1/2 VL is a quantitative nucleic acid amplification test for viral load measurement of HIV type 1 groups M/N and O, and HIV-2 in plasma samples.

Abbott says in the statement this magnificent test kit platform is portable so it can be brought into the most remote locations.

“It’s easy to use, deployable at the point of care and designed to measure viral load in under 70 minutes, while the patient is still present. This allows people to receive results during the same visit and enables immediate treatment decisions, thereby reducing the number of people lost to follow-up. 

“The test’s quick turnaround time is particularly valuable for monitoring the viral load of HIV-positive pregnant women and in cases of suspected HIV treatment failure,” it says.

The m-PIMA HIV-1/2 VL is part of Abbott’s comprehensive portfolio of diagnostic solutions for HIV screening, monitoring and viral load management. From the core lab to the point of care, Abbott provides critical tools to help healthcare providers make informed treatment decisions for people living with HIV.

To provide the most effective HIV treatment and care, the WHO recommends that everyone receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) undergoes a viral load test at 6 months and 12 months, and annually thereafter, if the individual is stable on ART. 

Viral load testing is the gold standard for monitoring ART treatment failure. Unfortunately, very few people in resource-limited settings, such as select countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America, have access to the necessary level of care.

Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Its portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. 

Abbott’s health interventions serve more than 160 countries.