There are currently 38 million people infected with HIV worldwide with up to a million deaths each year. During National HIV Testing Week, we hear from Dr. Catherine Kibirige who has developed a highly sensitive HIV-1 test that can detect a single infected cell with high precision.
Meet Dr. Fred Nsubuga, he manages the Diagnostics Laboratory at Jinja District Hospital in Uganda. His laboratory is not equipped for HIV-1 treatment monitoring, so, when patients come in who need a viral load test, he must collect, process and store their blood samples, batch them together, then send them on a truck to the national HIV testing laboratory in Kampala, the capital city, 44 miles away. Despite the availability of this state-of-the art facility which boasts a Roche Cobas 8800™ high-throughput instrument with a good computer-based laboratory management system, it can take months for the results to get back to him. Sometimes, they go missing.