Access to detecting the HIV epidemic is now readily available to everyone including resource-limited communities.
UNITAID and the France Expertise Internationale (FEI) banded together to fund the Open Polyvalent Platforms (OPP-ERA) project, an innovative system that helps to detect HIV viral load, which is a major indicator in determining when to switch treatments.
Both companies signed a $2.4 million agreement that aims to accelerate the industry of newfound providers and company of the HIV Viral Load Test (VLT) technologies. UNITAID plans to reach Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea in the initial plan.
According to UNITAID, only 10 percent of HIV patients have access to viral load tests when a majority are located in low-income settings.
“The UNITAID Executive Board has approved grants to the Clinton Health Access Initiative, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, and FEI to introduce new diagnostics,” said UNITAID’s Executive Director Denis Broun in a press release.
“OPP-ERA completely fits into UNITAID’s approach to provide a comprehensive response to affordable diagnostic tools in countries in need.”
Launched in 2006, UNITAID is an international health project that provides financial and sustainable support against the fight against such life-threatening diseases like HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria.
The project hopes it will lower the prices of the tests, as the machines are accommodating, fast and user-friendly.
Aside from HIV viral load testing, OPP-ERA’s goal is to detect early infant diagnosis along with other transmittable agents. According to a UNICEF report, 230,000 children died of AIDS-related causes in 2011 with a majority dying before the age of two years old.
With almost 70 percent of UNITAID’s finances coming from minimal charges on airline tickets, the governments of France, Brazil, Chile, the United Kingdom and Norway joined together to start the initiative. Today, 28 countries and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation back the project.
Led by FEI, the project gained partners such as the SIDACTION and Therapeutic Solidarity and Initiatives against AIDS, the Network for Therapeutic Solidarity in Hospitals, and the French National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis.