Early infant diagnosis of HIV. Osh AIDS center, 2017.
“Before dried blood spot testing was widely introduced in 2013 in Kyrgyzstan, only around 15% of infants were diagnosed early,” said Edil Tilekov, HIV Programme Officer for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “In 2017, that figure grew to nearly 90%.”
Today, HIV science and diagnostics are becoming ever-more sophisticated. UNICEF is promoting point-of-care HIV diagnostic methods for infants that would yield an HIV diagnosis a mere two hours after collecting blood.
The introduction of DBS and improved training for doctors has helped to defuse some of the stigma against people living with HIV.