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NHLS partners Roche to diagnose early HIV-infected infants

National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) of South Africa has awarded Roche Diagnostics a contract to support the Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) Programme, aimed to identify HIV-infected children during the first months of life.

Roche has developed a Dried Blood Sampling (DBS) technique as part of which a spot of blood is preserved on filter paper that helps identify HIV-infected children.

The technique eliminates the need for refrigeration, reduces the volume of blood to be stored or transported and is less stressful for the mother and the child.

Roche Diagnostics COO Daniel O’Day said the ability to determine the HIV status of an infant as early as six weeks is key to identify the appropriate care and support for the HIV-positive children.