Innovative technologies to test and monitor HIV/AIDS and improved malaria tests will soon be within reach of a number of countries via three new projects approved by the UNITAID Executive Board at its latest meeting.
UNITAID has committed US$ 28.7 million to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and US$ 20 million to the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and UNICEF for two complementary projects. These revolutionary new technologies will allow for diagnosis of HIV in infants and monitoring of HIV infection in remote areas previously deprived of diagnostic services.
The MSF project will cover seven African countries and aims to establish best practices for the use of new point-of-care technologies in resource-poor settings. The CHAI project will also span seven high HIV burden countries in Africa. Its goal is to catalyze a market for diagnostics so as to expedite availability and access to breakthrough technologies at the lowest possible price.
UNITAID also committed close to US$ 10 million to the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND). The project will monitor and improve the quality of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and develop new technology to simplify and stabilize the production of RDTs towards a reliable supply of products adapted for optimal use in developing countries.
These projects are just three examples of UNITAID's agenda-setting actions to bring innovative products to market in order to optimize disease response and treatment.
As a large purchaser of health products, with more than US$ 800 million invested in HIV/AIDS and US$ 320 million in malaria, UNITAID works to accelerate early market entry of new medicines and technologies to facilitate countries' and global health agencies' access to the best available products at cost-effective prices.