China’s State Drug Administration Approves Canadian Biotech Firm’s Rapid HIV Test
China's State Drug Administration on Wednesday approved a rapid HIV test made by Canadian biotech company MedMira, the Canadian Press reports. The company, whose shares rose almost 11% after the announcement, is rushing to manufacture 250,000 of the three-minute HIV tests to distribute to health clinics in China. "The Chinese government has finally acknowledged this is a problem," Daniel Sham of MedMira said, adding, "Now they're trying to make prevention a priority." The test, which is similar to a home pregnancy test, measures the level of HIV antibodies in a person's blood to determine whether the individual is infected. The company hopes that the tests will be used in rural regions of China, where HIV is widespread due to injection drug use, prostitution, migration and blood transfusions using infected blood. MedMira is currently awaiting FDA approval for its test, which received approval from Health Canada in 1998 (Auld, Canadian Press, 4/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.