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AHF Forms Partnership With Xakaza, Primagen To Reduce Cost of Monitoring Viral Loads in South African Clinic
AHF Global Immunity, the not-for-profit international arm of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, on Tuesday announced an initiative to reduce the cost of and time to process viral load tests that monitor the progress of HIV/AIDS patients' drug regimens, South Africa's Mercury reports (Leeman, Mercury, 11/12). AHF GI said that it has formed a partnership with the South African Xakaza Medical Laboratory to establish a highly active antiretroviral therapy laboratory to process viral load tests for South African HIV-positive people, the Panafrican News Agency reports. AHF GI and Xakaza also entered into a partnership with Primagen Holding B.V. through which Primagen will donate its Retina Rainbow HIV-1 laboratory tests and the use of its viral load testing machine to AHF GI (Panafrican News Agency, 11/12). "Expanding access to HAART monitoring via this laboratory partnership is part of AHF Global Immunity's commitment to rapidly expand access to comprehensive antiretroviral therapy in South Africa," AHF President Michael Weinstein said on Tuesday at the opening of the laboratory. AHF GI sponsors the Ithembalabantu Clinic in South Africa, in partnership with the Network of AIDS Communities/South Africa. The clinic, which opened in September 2001 and began providing antiretroviral drugs in February 2002, currently serves about 520 clients, 170 of whom receive antiretroviral treatment (AHF release, 11/11). AHF hopes to provide counseling and antiretroviral treatment free of charge to two million people in South Africa by 2006, according to Weinstein (Mercury, 11/12). In addition, AHF last week announced plans to expand its work from the AIDS clinics it currently operates in South Africa, Uganda and Honduras to 30 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, according to an AHF release (AHF release, 11/6).
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