CDC Warns of Possible HIV Test Kit Shortage, Asks Manufacturers of Other Tests to Boost Production
The CDC on Friday issued a warning about a possible shortage of confirmatory HIV test kits that help rule out false-positive results from the first test, the Associated Press reports. The warning means that patients awaiting test results may have to wait longer to receive their results, the CDC said. Calypte Biomedical Corp., one of two makers of the HIV-1 Western blot test kits, has warned it will stop producing the kits, has laid off half of its employees and may file for bankruptcy. The CDC has asked the only other company that makes the kits, BioRad Laboratories, to increase its production to "head off" a possible shortage. The CDC has also asked an Austrian company that produces another kind of confirmatory test -- the immunofluorescence assay, which can be used to test blood and plasma with initial positive test results -- to increase production of those test kits (Associated Press, 5/10). The alert was published in the May 10 issue of the CDC's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.