Chembio Diagnostics, Inc., a NY-based company that develops, manufactures, licenses and markets proprietary rapid diagnostic tests, is donating more than 4,500 rapid HIV test kits to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's 2009 Testing Millions Global Campaign, based in Los Angeles, to commemorate World AIDS Day 2009 on December 1st.
"It's important to remember the need for routine testing so that AIDS patients can receive treatment," said Lawrence A. Siebert, chairman and CEO of Chembio. "However, according to recent research, approximately one in five people who test positive for HIV fail to receive their results and post-test counseling. Some of these patients who are unaware that they are disease carriers inadvertently delay the beginning of treatment while placing others at risk of exposure."
Siebert went on to note that rapid, point-of-care (POC) tests such as those his company is donating to the Foundation—single test cartridges, similar to pregnancy tests, that use a small sample of blood and deliver a visual result in approximately 20 minutes—may be a solution.
Founded in 1985, Chembio entered the POC testing field in the late 1990s and, in 2002, focused its business to participate in the emerging global need and opportunity for rapid HIV tests. In addition to Chembio's two FDA-approved rapid tests for HIV, the company is developing the next generation of rapid STD tests using their patented Dual Path Platform technology. These include a new rapid oral fluid HV test, a unique combination screen and confirm point-of-care test for syphilis, and a rapid oral fluid hepatitis C test.
First conceived in 1987 and first celebrated the following year, World AIDS Day is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS epidemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. Over one million Americans and 33 million individuals worldwide are estimated to be living with HIV.