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Early infant diagnosis of HIV through dried blood spot testing

PATHFINDER INTERNATIONAL / KENYA
October 2007

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Until recently the test used to diagnose HIV in babies under one-year has required sophisticated and expensive equipment. A new test has now been developed - dried blood spot testing which can be used to diagnose HIV as early as six weeks after a baby is born and has the advantage of being easy to prepare in a resource-limited setting and shipped to testing facilities without refrigeration. If a baby is given prophylactic antibiotics, such as cotrimoxazole, soon after birth and Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) as soon as is medically indicated, it has a good chance of surviving childhood and living a long, healthy life

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