Globally, about 38 million people today live with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), with an overwhelming majority of people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries. The global goal of the United Nations HIV targets is to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.
In the United States, new HIV diagnoses have fallen from their peak in the 1980s and 1990s, but the rate of decrease of new diagnoses has slowed. In the US, several groups tend to go undiagnosed:
Diagnosis is the first step in the HIV care continuum with diagnosis required for identifying those who need treatment to achieve viral suppression. With the CDC’s Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) initiative, we need innovative and develop evidence-based strategies to decrease new infections by 90% by 2030. Current testing strategies still miss an estimated 15% of people living with HIV in the United States. HIV self-testing in the United States is limited to a single saliva test for HIV antibodies, and it is not as sensitive or specific as the standard laboratory antibody/antigen test. Of those living with HIV, viral load detection is essential to HIV care. However, most tests are done in reference laboratories with a long turn-around-time. Additional point-of-care and over-the-counter (OTC) tests for viral load do exist but have not been approved by the FDA.
Our Center strives to look for technologies that will enable quicker time to result for HIV diagnoses and viral loads to enable people to make decisions to protect themselves and others.
The CIDID is committed to ending the HIV epidemic by assisting and catalyzing the development of POC and potentially OTC HIV tests. Our Center collaborates with numerous institutions, both domestically and abroad, in clinical trials to evaluate exciting innovation in emerging HIV diagnostic and viral load tests. We have published extensively to increase discourse on HIV self-testing in emergency departments, and clinical evaluations on HIV/syphilis dual testing.