August 25, 2013

August 25, 2013
FDA Approves First Rapid HIV Test
That Can Detect Acute Infection


Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Sunday and I hope you are having a beary safe and great weekend so far. It is another busy weekend for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this month approved a new rapid diagnostic test that detects antibodies against both HIV-1 and HIV-2, as well as the HIV-1 p24 antigen. Detection of the antigen but not antibodies indicates acute infection, allowing for the possibility of improved prevention and earlier treatment.

Below is an edited excerpt from an FDA press release describing the Alere Determine HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab Combo test in more detail.

August 8, 2013 -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the first rapid Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) test for the simultaneous detection of HIV-1 p24 antigen as well as antibodies to both HIV-1 and HIV-2 in human serum, plasma, and venous or fingerstick whole blood specimens. Approved for use as an aid in the diagnosis of HIV-1 and HIV-2 infection, the Alere Determine HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab Combo test is also the first FDA-approved test that independently distinguishes results for HIV-1 p24 antigen and HIV antibodies in a single test.

The test can be used by trained professionals in outreach settings to identify HIV-infected individuals who might not be able to be tested in traditional health care settings. The test does not distinguish between antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2, and is not intended to be used for screening of blood donors.

Detection of HIV-1 antigen permits earlier detection of HIV-1 infection than is possible by testing for HIV-1 antibodies alone. The test, can distinguish acute HIV-1 infection from established HIV-1 infection when the blood specimen is positive for HIV-1 p24 antigen but is negative for HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies.

"This test helps diagnose HIV infection at an earlier time in outreach settings, allowing individuals to seek medical care sooner," said Karen Midthun, MD, director of the FDAs Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. "Earlier diagnosis may also help to reduce additional HIV transmission."

HIV infection can result in the development of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS. HIV damages the bodys defense mechanisms by destroying specific blood cells, called CD4+ T cells, which are crucial to helping the body fight diseases. Two types of HIV have been identified, HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for most HIV infections throughout the world. HIV-2 is found primarily in West Africa; however, cases of HIV-2 infection have been reported in North America and Europe.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year approximately 50,000 people are infected with HIV in the United States. Of the more than 1 million people living with HIV in the United States, approximately 20 percent of those people have not been diagnosed.

Hope you have a beary safe and great Sunday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,



Daddy Dab