The partnership is part of Hologic’s Global Access Initiative. Under the Initiative, we are working with Hologic and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to increase access to viral load testing in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Through the partnership, Hologic agreed to a pricing structure that allows eligible countries to procure tests for a ceiling price of $12 per patient test.
In 2018, there were 1.7 million new HIV cases worldwide and 770,000 people lost their lives to AIDS-related illnesses, making it one of the leading causes of death. HIV transmission and mortality can be reduced if patients are started on treatments – called antiretrovirals (ARVs) – soon after infection. People living with HIV who are consistently taking effective ARV regimens can effectively suppress their viral load, which can prevent death and onward transmission. This requires timely, accurate testing and monitoring. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends routine HIV viral load testing as the “gold standard” for detecting when ARV therapy is failing. However, access to viral load testing has remained low and inconsistent in low- and middle-income countries. By the end of 2018, only 58 per cent of people in these countries who were on a treatment regimen for HIV had access to viral load testing.
Globally, an estimated 325 million people are living with HBV or HCV, and a significant number of those who are chronically infected will develop cirrhosis or liver cancer. The WHO estimated that 399,000 people died in 2016 as a result of HCV, while HBV is responsible for close to 900,000 deaths per year. Most viral hepatitis deaths are as a result of cirrhosis or primary liver cancer.
HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer, the second most common cancer among women in low- and middle-income countries. In 2018, of the 311,000 women who lost their lives to cervical cancer, 85 per cent were from such countries. In the same year, there were 570,000 new cases among women in these countries, 84 per cent of the global total.