Early infant diagnosis
Without immediate treatment, half of HIV-positive infants are unlikely to live past age two.1 Although all infants are required to be tested, the country's HIV testing system has relied on the slow, inefficient mail system to send blood samples to national and regional labs. It can take up to four months for local clinics to receive results—far too long to make antiretroviral therapy effective.
HP and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) are working in conjunction with the Kenyan government to change that. We're implementing technology that will reduce the response time for test results and help save lives.
HP is helping to automate the HIV-testing process and revolutionize how the data is collected and reported. Five state-of-the-art HP data centers—two of which are already installed—connect with four existing laboratories, providing a platform to speed the transmission of data. Samples are now assigned a barcode, tested, and then recorded in a database. Instead of waiting for results to arrive by mail, results are sent by text message to SMS-enabled HP printers in rural clinics. If clinics have Internet access, they can receive the results by email or access the data online. With these advances, health providers can receive the results just one to two days after the lab has analyzed the sample. That means babies can receive life-saving drugs before it's too late.
In 2009, before this system was implemented, 45,000 children in Kenya were tested, and HIV-positive children were put on treatment immediately. With this new program, HP expects the number of children tested to jump to 70,000 in the year 2011. The potential for this system to address other serious diseases (such as malaria and tuberculosis) in both infants and adults around the world is tremendous.
- Learn more about HP's involvement.
- Read the HP press release.
- Learn how HP is working with mothers2mothers to help the organization reduce the HIV mother-to-child transmission rate in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- 1 According to data provided by the Kenya Ministry of Public Health & Sanitation.