Brazil will start performing “rapid tests” for the diagnosis of AIDS until the end of this year, affirmed, yesterday, the President of Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), Paulo Buss.
The technology used for the production of rapid tests’ kits was imported from a lab in the United States.
The new screening tests produce results in about 20 minutes, which will benefit, mainly, pregnant women. Results through traditional procedures, with the Elisa kit, take about a month to be available.
“This rapid test is important in cases when we are not sure if the patient will come back for the results. Examples are people who travel a lot, such as truck drivers, or sex professionals, who come for the consultation and do not come back. If we are able to quickly detect the virus, we can immediately notify the patient and start treatment,” added Buss.
Also until the end of this year, Fiocruz will produce kits for viral load tests, which measure the amount of HIV virus particles per milliliter (ml) of blood, and inform the patient about the evolution of the disease in his/her organism.
The technology for the production of this kit is totally Brazilian, developed by Fiocruz in partnership with the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
“Currently, each kit for this test is imported for US$ 36-38. With the national production, this cost will be reduced to a third or half of this price,” said Fiocruz’ President.
Paulo Buss made presentations about new technologies in health for entrepreneurs of the Trading Association of Rio de Janeiro.
He emphasized that the Brazilian anti-AIDS program is being able to reduce the advancement of the disease, and that there is perspective to decrease the viral load of the 150 thousand cases currently under treatment in the country.
Fiocruz currently produces eight anti-AIDS medications, and also participates on one of the eight international projects for the development of a vaccine against HIV.