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International public health expert praises Burnet CD4 test

Burnet Institute

19 June, 2013

Professor Suzanne Crowe, Professor Charles Gilks and Professor Brendan Crabb at the Burnet's Director's Seminar.

Former head of UNAIDS in India, Professor Charles Gilks has declared Burnet’s point-of-care CD4 test ‘the future’ in achieving universal access to HIV treatment.

Professor Gilks, now the Head of the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland, was speaking to Burnet staff at the Director’s Seminar about monitoring antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited countries.

He outlined the success of the World Health Organization’s ‘3 by 5’ campaign to increase access to antiretroviral therapy in resource-poor countries, which he was instrumental in implementing.

Professor Gilks presented data from the DART Study, a six-year clinical trial of anti-HIV therapy in 3300 patients with advanced HIV or AIDS in Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The study found there was little clinical benefit for patients to have routine laboratory tests and monitoring tests, relying instead on clinical assessments.

“There is no need for governments to set up labs for lab-based monitoring because it’s too costly, lab results are not a substitute for good quality clinical care,” Professor Gilks said.

Evidence from cost-analysis of CD4 monitoring in 2008 suggested that a CD4 test has to be priced below $3.78 to be cost-effective, which Professor Gilks said should be the aim for Burnet’s VISITECT® CD4 test.

“The future is good for low-cost, CD4 point-of-care devices,” he said.

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Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Associate Professor David Anderson

Deputy Director (Partnerships), Burnet Institute; Co-Head, Global Health Diagnostics Development

Telephone

+61392822239

Email

[email protected]

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