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Roche Partners on Launch of Global Program for HIV Testing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Roche today announced the launch of the Global Access Program for HIV viral load testing.

The program is being created in partnership with UNAIDS, the joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS; the Clinton Health Access Initiative; the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB & Malaria. In support of the program, Roche will expand access to its Cobas AmpliPrep/Cobas TaqMan HIV-1 Test version 2.0 through special pricing provided to qualifying organizations in eligible countries.

Roche said that the program is in response to the Diagnostics Access Initiative launched in July to improve laboratory capacity so that AIDS patients can access effective, high-quality HIV treatment services. It added that expanding the use of diagnostics will be crucial to achieving the UNAIDS 90:90:90 goals by the year 2020.

That initiative aims to have 90 percent of all people living with HIV know their HIV status; 90 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV infection to receive antiretroviral therapy; and 90 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy to have durable viral suppression.

Roche noted that it launched the Global Surveillance Program, an effort aimed at monitoring changes in the HIV-1 genome, in 1998. It has since expanded that program and its database to include thousands of genomic sequences for a variety of viruses including hepatitis B and C viruses and West Nile Virus.

The World Health Organization estimates that as of 2012 there were 35 million people in the world living with HIV.