Underprivileged countries will be able to access more easily self-tests to detect the AIDS virus, thanks to the reduction of the price by half to less than two dollars a piece, announced Wednesday, April 28, the international organization Unitaid.
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Unitaid today announces a significant market expansion and a reduction in prices of around 50%, thanks to an agreement with Viatris (through its subsidiary Mylan) under which HIV self-tests using a blood samples will be made available at less than $ 2 per unit in 135 eligible countries
”, underlined Hervé Verhoosel, spokesperson for Unitaid in Geneva. “
Access to self-testing is a critical factor in achieving the global goal of ensuring that 90% of people infected with HIV know their HIV status
“, He explained, adding that over the past six years, this percentage has already fallen from 45% to 81%. Knowing if you are HIV positive or not as early as possible helps protect others and also to seek treatment.
The market for self-testing in these countries has improved since Unitaid began investing in it in 2015, but it has so far been dominated by a single, affordable self-test model - with the other options costing at least $ 1. dollar more, says the organization. The agreement announced on Wednesday is the culmination of a call for proposals launched by Unitaid and the NGO Population Services International (PSI) in 2020 to promote equitable access to these tests. "
Thanks to this market expansion, countries will have more choice (...) which will facilitate the acquisition of products and their integration into health systems
», Underlined Hervé Verhoosel. The ultimate goal is to enable the eight million people believed to not know their HIV status to learn if they are HIV positive and to receive treatment, according to Unitaid. For Thato Chidarikire, director of HIV prevention strategies in the South African National Directorate of Health, self-tests have had a "
" on the HIV program by making it "possible to
reach men and women. women aged 19 to 24 as well as the main target population groups
”. The lower prices “
will result in higher quantities and the expansion of our program, which will allow us toreach more people who are untested and unwilling to get tested
», She underlined.
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The HIV self-test designed by Mylan and manufactured by Atomo Diagnostics Limited as well as another HIV self-test using a blood sample, recently developed by Abbott (and currently undergoing regulatory review), "
will thus form the basis a program to broaden access to tests launched by Unitaid, within the framework of which around 1 million tests will be distributed to stimulate domestic demand in eligible countries
, ”underlines the organization.