Take aim at HIV/AIDS: Pioneering viral load testing
Did you know that there are nearly 37 million people living with HIV/AIDS around the world predominantly in Sub Saharan Africa and in 2015 approximately 3,000 people died through AIDS each day?1
The good news: New infections have declined by 6% since 2010.2 And, over the last decade, progress has been made in expanding access to HIV treatment in low and middle income countries.
The persisting challenge of HIV/AIDS
However, access to treatment remains an ongoing issue. In those areas hardest hit by HIV, such as western and central Africa for example, only 1.8 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy. That’s on average only one third of all people living with HIV in the region.3 On a positive note, eight out of ten people living in Sub-Saharan Africa with HIV and know their status, are receiving antiretroviral therapy, and nearly 76% of those people have achieved viral suppression.
- 3,000 deaths a day through AIDS in 20154
- two thirds of people living with HIV do not have access to antiretroviral therapy5
- 10 countries shoulder 80 % of the HIV burden: Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe6
- 76 % of people with HIV who are receiving treatment have achieved viral suppression7
Working towards an AIDS free generation8
In July 20149, UNAIDS announced new goals to end AIDS by 2030. Momentum is now building around this ambitious target so that all people living with HIV know their HIV status, can be linked to effective, high-quality HIV treatment services, and achieve viral load suppression.
Roche’s role in achieving the UNAIDS goals
As the leading provider of HIV early infant diagnosis and viral load testing, Roche has a social responsibility to provide care where access is limited, especially in countries hardest hit by the disease.
Our Global Access Program (GAP) for HIV viral load testing, created with UNAIDS and other partner organisations, supports the 90-90-90 goal through expanding access to HIV diagnostics for qualifying organisations in 82 eligible countries.
This led in 2015 to a total of 1.5 million infant diagnosis tests using Roche assays. Roche then took the decision to expand the GAP in July 2015 to formally include early infant HIV diagnostic testing and then in 2016 incorporated newer high throughput automated systems to help extend reach further.
This agreement with Roche Diagnostics is a powerful step towards ending the unconscionable failure of the world to meet the treatment needs of children living with HIV. We now need to use this agreement to rapidly scale up diagnostic and treatment services for all children living with HIV, in line with the 90-90-90 target.
Amplicare is another initiative from Roche aimed at removing barriers that prevent early diagnosis of infants born to HIV positive mothers and at increasing access to testing in Sub-Saharan Africa and parts of South America and Asia.
Working in Partnership to combat AIDS
I believe that as a healthcare company, we can be an important part of the solution to improve access to quality medicines and diagnostic tests. But we cannot do this alone.
The barriers to accessing healthcare provision are multiple and complex. We are working in partnerships all over the world to overcome these barriers, be they infrastructure, affordability, training, supply or awareness.
1. http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/AIDS-by-the-numbers-2016_en.pdf Accessed 21Sept2016
2. http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/fact-sheet. Accessed 21Sept2016
3. http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/UNAIDS_FactSheet_en.pdf. Accessed 21Sept2016
4. http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/AIDS-by-the-numbers-2016_en.pdf Accessed 21Sept2016
5. http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/UNAIDS_FactSheet_en.pdf. Accessed 21Sept2016
6. http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/UNAIDS_FactSheet_en.pdf. Accessed 21Sept2016
7. http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/UNAIDS_FactSheet_en.pdf. Accessed 21Sept2016