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Device for testing HIV in newborns unveiled

The fight against HIV has received a major boost after the launch of an early diagnosis kit that targets newborns for early treatment.

The device called M-PIMA has been installed at the Jaramogi Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) in Kisumu.

The M-PIMA detect test for both HIV-I and HIV-2 strains completely transforms HIV testing and treatment for newborns, giving results in under 60 minutes so doctors can initiate anti-retroviral therapy without delay.

The technology will reduce the turnaround time for receiving babies’ results of HIV positive mothers from 30 to 90 days to only 24 hours. Point of Care Early Infant Diagnosis (POCEID) technology replaces the old Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) HIV testing used to detect antigens in the blood. Results under the PCR testing method come out after four to10 days.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta accompanied by her Mozambican counterpart Isaura Nyusi commissioned the (POCEID) technology at JOOTRH and later launched the second Beyond Zero Medical Safari.

Speaking at the launch on Thursday the First Lady said the device gives early diagnosis for HIV testing that provides immediate results that allow HIV-infected babies receive treatment without delay. “I encourage facilities to adopt this technology that will improve health across the country,” she said.   

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