There are nearly 33 million people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) world wide. Yet while the pandemic’s impact is increasingly felt, surveys in the Sub-Saharan regions have shown that a median of just 12 per cent of men and 10 per cent of women have been tested for HIV and received the results. Greater knowledge of HIV status is critical to expanding access to treatment, care and support in a timely manner, and offers people living with HIV an opportunity to receive information and tools to prevent HIV transmission to others. Knowledge of serostatus via antibody testing is the entry point for most HIV prevention and care interventions. Testing is necessary to protect blood supplies, to identify HIV-positive pregnant women for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), to monitor disease trends in populations, and for clinical diagnostic purposes. The availability of rapid HIV-antibody tests has made field diagnosis of HIV inexpensive and technically feasible in low-resource areas.
To assist in the decision making-process for procurement of rapid diagnostic tests UNICEF has developed the A guide for selecting rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits for HIV diagnosis. The document provides information that is useful for supply chain planning, including product shelf-life and storage requirements. Some product-specific information on RDTs currently available through UNICEF Supply Division is also provided
UNICEF has Long Term Arrangements with a wide range of suppliers for HIV Rapid Diagnostics Kits, which are all in line with the WHO Bulk Procurement Scheme. More information on this scheme can be found via the WHO website. The overview of products that can be procured via UNICEF Supply Division can be found via the UNICEF Supply Catalogue. The different tyoes of HIV Test kits for which information is provided are Elisa, Simple/ rapid and Confirmatory.
At the same time, health services are utilizing laboratories more extensively now than ever before. Laboratories play a pivotal role in health care systems supporting diagnosis, treatment and care related to HIV. UNICEF Supply Division can support in the procurement of supplies (i) supporting diagnosis of HIV infection, initiation and monitoring of antiretroviral therapy, and (ii) screening of donated blood in centres providing blood bank services.