Currently, the majority of HIV-infected infants are found in resource-poor settings in the developing world, where the high cost and time required to process conventional diagnostics often prevents timely administration of crucial antiretroviral therapies. Responding to the need for affordable tests and fast diagnoses, CIGHT laboratories developed a low-cost, dipstick p24 antigen assay that provides a visual readout format and yields a result in less than forty minutes. The speed and simplicity of the p24 antigen test (requiring minimal plasma volume) allow for same-visit diagnosis and thus timely treatment.
Clinical trials of the p24 antigen test are scheduled to begin at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, by July of 2011. (Read the article published in the Journal of AIDS.)