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Breakthrough HIV Technology Could Revolutionize Patient Care in Zimbabwe

Waltham, Massachusetts (PRWEB) February 09, 2013

Alere Inc. is pleased to announce that, with the aid of a revolutionary point-of-care device, World Health Clinicians, a US-based nongovernmental organization, were able to provide absolute CD4 counts for patients living with HIV in rural Zimbabwe in under 20 minutes. This outcome is the result of a proof-of-concept evaluation World Health Clinicians performed in conjunction with the Zimbabwean Ministry of Health. Zimbabwe has a population of approximately 11.6 million people, 1.2 million of whom are infected with HIV.

In HIV-infected individuals, total CD4 count is the most robust surrogate marker for immune competence, identifying when patients need to start life-saving, antiretroviral therapy. As part of its evaluation, the World Health Clinicians team ran rapid HIV screening tests as well as total CD4 cell counts, providing a complete set of results in less than one hour, a service that is currently unavailable in even the most developed parts of the world. More information about the evaluation and its results can be found by accessing the link below.


Designed and engineered in Germany, the Alere Pima™ CD4 test provides an accurate, absolute CD4 count using a small amount of blood drawn from a fingerstick. The analyzer weighs 2.5kg (5.5lbs) and runs on either battery or A/C power, allowing for easy transport and use in even the most remote and challenging environments.

In particular, the Alere Pima™ CD4 test enabled the team from World Health Clinicians to conduct house-to-house CD4 testing outside the clinic, reaching patients who would otherwise go without results. Moreover, when the clinic lost power for 3 ½ hours, a common occurrence in the region, the team was able to switch to battery-operated power and continue CD4 testing.

“I think this is one of the most practical systems I’ve ever seen–for the fact that it’s so lightweight, it lasts so long with the back-up battery, and it takes twenty minutes and a single fingerstick to run,” said Dr Gary Blick, CEO of World Health Clinicians. “I would love to have access to this in the United States.”

Alere, a leading provider of near-patient diagnostics, is committed to developing solutions that support the screening and monitoring of people living with HIV. The company manufactures a range of point-of-care diagnostics for HIV screening, monitoring and the detection of such co-morbidities as tuberculosis, including the Alere Determine™ HIV-1/2 and the Alere Determine™ TB LAM Ag tests.

For more information about Alere’s diagnostic tools for chronic HIV management, go to

About Alere
By developing new capabilities in near-patient diagnosis, monitoring and health information technology, Alere enables individuals to take charge of improving their health and quality of life at home. Alere's global leading products and services, as well as its new product development efforts, focus on cardiology, infectious disease, toxicology and diabetes. Alere is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. For more information regarding Alere, please visit

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