The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects the cells of the immune system and destroys them or makes them ineffective. This results in the gradual deterioration of the immune system, which can no longer fight infection.
The term "AIDS" applies to the more advanced stages of HIV infection, defined by the development of one or several of the opportunistic infections or cancers associated with HIV.
The healthcare challenge
According to the most recent estimates provided by UNAIDS for 2011:
- 34 million people worldwide are living with HIV,
- 2.5 million people became newly infected with HIV,
- 1.7 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses.
The majority of victims live in low-income countries.
The role of in vitro diagnostics
Screening tests are essential to provide the best patient care and to prevent the spread of the virus, as they enable the infection to be detected early.
- bioMérieux developed one of the first screening tests in 1985. Since then, there has been a constant flow of tests developed to meet the needs of patients and clinicians.
- The tests detect antibodies directed towards the HIV and/or the p24 antigen in the patients' blood, thus allowing the infection to be diagnosed earlier.
Regular monitoring of the viral load enables patients to enjoy better quality of life, thanks to more appropriate treatment and prompt detection of any resistance to treatment.
- bioMérieux offers a real-time molecular biology test for viral load monitoring. It is used to follow changes in the patient's disease before and after starting treatment.
- bioMérieux has also been the first company to provide a CE approved Dry Blood Spot protocol for viral load monitoring. The Dry Blood Spot technique is a significant advance and involves the deposit of a blood sample on filter paper, with no need for refrigeration. Samples may be taken in local dispensaries, with no need for a laboratory or qualified technicians. The technique is ideally suited for use in remote areas with limited resources.
For over 25 years, bioMérieux has been at the cutting edge of innovation in the fight against AIDS. Our researchers' efforts have culminated in the development of a range of high-performance tests for HIV screening and infection management.
We offer one of the widest product ranges available for the diagnosis and monitoring of HIV infections.
We are committed to making the latest innovations in HIV screening available to all types of healthcare settings and systems.
25 years of innovation in fighting HIV/AIDS