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Roche Expands HIV Global Access Program

Roche announced today an expansion to the HIV Global Access Program to include early infant HIV diagnostic testing for low and middle income countries.  Roche, in partnership with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), UNITAID, the U.S. President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, is committed to working with the Diagnostics Access Initiative by providing state-of-the-art solutions to achieve the 90-90-90[1] goal set forth by UNAIDS.  Announced in 2014, the HIV Global Access Program is Roche's most recent addition to the AmpliCare Initiative, which launched in 2002 in South Africa.


"As the leader in HIV diagnostics, Roche is proud to support the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goal by expanding access to quality HIV testing for early infant diagnosis in resource limited settings," stated Roland Diggelmann, Chief Operating Officer of Roche Diagnostics. "Increased access to early infant diagnosis can provide an impactful contribution for mother and child and contribute to achieving UNAIDS' goals for controlling and eradicating the HIV/AIDS epidemic."


By expanding the Global Access Program for HIV, Roche is providing its dual-target COBAS® AmpliPrep/COBAS® TaqMan® HIV-1 Qualitative Test version 2.0 through an affordable price offering for qualifying organizations in 82 eligible countries with the highest disease burden.  The test provides a simple, innovative method for collecting, transporting and storing patient samples in resource-limited settings. The HIV-1 dual-target qualitative test drastically reduces the volume of blood required for testing, while dramatically reducing stress for the mother and the child.  Timely HIV infant diagnostics are required for antiretroviral treatment to save the lives of HIV-infected babies across many African countries.   


"This agreement with Roche Diagnostics is a powerful step towards ending the unconscionable failure of the world to meet the treatment needs of children living with HIV," said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. "We now need to use this agreement to rapidly scale up diagnostic and treatment services for all children living with HIV, in line with the 90-90-90 target." 


"This collaboration illustrates how we are sharing responsibility and working together to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic," said Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and U.S. Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. "The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is scaling up our efforts to identify, test, and treat children living with HIV/AIDS and Roche's decision to include early infant HIV diagnostic testing in the HIV Global Access Program will have a considerable impact—helping PEPFAR expand the reach of our investment."


"This agreement builds on and supports other efforts of a strong partnership to make the market for viral load testing more competitive and transparent, and that better serves children affected by HIV," said Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund.


"This agreement will allow more children to be tested and enter treatment sooner saving many lives," said CHAI Chief Executive Officer Ira C. Magaziner. "I congratulate Roche. This represents the latest in a series of agreements where Roche has been a pioneer in bringing state of the art testing to resource poor settings at affordable prices."


Source: Roche