Abbott has launched Architect HIV Ag/Ab Combo assay to detect early-stage infections and provide information to prevent further HIV transmission.
The Combo assay detects both HIV antigen and antibodies.
Studies conducted revealed that the combo test detects HIV up to 20 days earlier than antibody-only tests, which is important to control the spread of the virus.
University of North Carolina medicine professor Peter Leone said the fourth-generation HIV testing detects the majority of acute HIV, or newly infected, cases and can help public health officials estimate community rates of HIV infection.
"Identifying more people earlier offers a significant opportunity for counseling, which can reduce high-risk behaviors and also initiate antiretroviral treatment for early-stage infection, which has now been shown to significantly reduce transmission of HIV," Leone said.
"Diagnosis of acute HIV can identify high transmission networks so that HIV prevention activities can be utilized".