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Supplies and Logistics

UNICEF and global health partners open market entry for innovative HIV Point of Care diagnostics

COPENHAGEN, Denmark 02 April 2014 –  At a recent consultation between global health partners and leading HIV diagnostic manufacturers, UNICEF announced the launch of a tender for Point of Care (POC) HIV technology that will expand access to more reliable diagnostic tests and timelier test results.  The tender is part of a UNICEF and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) project, funded by UNITAID, to accelerate access to high quality POC HIV diagnostic equipment in seven African countries that carry one third of the world’s HIV burden. 

POC technology brings laboratory-quality testing and results to the level of the patient, and enables doctors to make an early decision on initiating antiretroviral treatment for adults and children.  The tender creates an enabling environment for innovative POC HIV products to enter the market and invites industry to increase the market’s competitiveness, diversity, and supplier base.  Strategic global health partners, including WHO, Global Fund, PEPFAR and Médecins Sans Frontières, are working together to identify future synergies and opportunities for collaboration on HIV POC.

The tender will establish Long-Term Arrangements (LTAs) that will help ensure a sustainable supply of affordable quality HIV POC products that can measure the patient’s CD4 count, monitor Viral Load (VL) or perform Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) testing. While CD4 remains important for establishing an HIV patient’s baseline immune status and assessing treatment required for opportunistic infections, the World Health Organization’s 2013 HIV treatment guidelines recommend Viral Load testing (where available) as the preferred diagnostic tool for routine monitoring of patients who are receiving antiretroviral treatment. The tender will assess the commercial, technical and quality standards of the HIV POC products and will consider consultation with technical expert review panels, if specific advice is required.  Countries are expected to have a range of products to choose from, including products that are currently in the development pipeline.

POC technology is crucial in reducing the 1.8 million AIDS related deaths that occur every year.  Global health partners acknowledged that variables such as commercial availability of appropriate technology and long-term funding, and country-level capacity to implement innovative health technology are challenges to establishing accurate demand forecasts.  Partners are pooling efforts to collect, analyse and make available to industry, data that is critical to production planning.    

Presentations from the consultations meeting, including details about the upcoming tender exercise, are available online at https://www.unicef.org/supply/index_42657.html.

For more information, contact:

Joan Howe, Communication Specialist, Supply Division, UNICEF

Email:       jhowe@unicef.org

Mobile:   +45 29 65 71 94  

For more information about UNICEF Supply and its work please visit www.unicef.org/supply or follow us on Twitter @UNICEFSupply

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere



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