The CARES Initiative: A Global Initiative in Support of the Fight Against HIV & Related Co-Infections

CARES Initiative Officials

The CARES initiative was launched and driven by a social and civic responsibility to support the fight against HIV/AIDS. Public and private partnerships are being explored to identify areas for Beckman Coulter Life Sciences to contribute for the broader purpose. We seek to develop alliances with non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), implementing partners, and health policy organizations to align our efforts.

Beckman Coulter Life Sciences is meeting tomorrow’s needs today by our commitment to leading the fight against HIV through the development of innovative solutions for the monitoring of CD4+ lymphocyte depletion and viral load levels. Our simple, robust and sustainable tests have been made available to thousands of patients and allow the Health Departments to channel more funds towards better treatment programs.

CARES Initiative Ministers of Health Uganda

 

“We seek alliances with NGO’s, implementing partners, and health policy organizations”

Tiered Laboratory Networks

Laboratories are the backbone of the entire public health system, and standardization is the key to success in order to facilitate collaboration and communication between them.

Within a tiered public healthcare system, near-patient testing in many cases still means high-throughput testing, combined with centralized data collection and storage requirements.
CARES Initiative Laboratory Organization

 

 

“Within a tiered public healthcare system, near-patient testing in many cases still means high-throughput testing”

 

 

While basic peripheral testing sites usually need to rely on Point of Care testing due to infrastructural challenges, all other laboratory categories require state-of-the-art solutions that meet flexible workload requirements and automated integrated approaches.

WHO Guidelines

The 2013 WHO guidelines, and the 2015 revision thereof, call for an earlier treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART) for people infected with HIV, and identify CD4 count and viral load analysis as the two main technologies to monitor ART treatment initiation and follow-up (3; 6).

CARES Initiative Two men in lab

 

“CD4 analysis platforms are needed in both centralized and regional healthcare facilities”

 

This requires countries to build capacity for the analysis of immune system integrity, and especially for CD4 analysis platforms that can be used in both centralized and regional healthcare facilities. Learn more about the latest WHO Guidelines for HIV Advance Disease Management.

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*Photos courtesy of Dr. Charles Kiyaga

References

  1. WHO (2015): HIV/AIDS Fact Sheet No. 360. World Health Organization, Geneva.
  2. UNAIDS (2014): 90-90-90: An ambitious treatment target to help end the AIDS epidemic. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Geneva, pp. 1-33. 3. WHO (2013): Consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infections. World Health Organization, Geneva, pp. 28-30.
  3. Cassim N et al. (2014): Estimating Implementation and Operational Costs of an Integrated Tiered CD4 Service including Laboratory and Point of Care Testing in a Remote Health District in South Africa. PLoS ONE 9(12): e115420.
  4. WHO (2015): Guideline on when to start antiretroviral therapy and on pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV. World Health Organization, Geneva.

 

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Uganda NHLS Lab Strengthening Pilot

Beckman Coulter Life Science and The CARES Initiative to fight HIV/AIDS has partnered with the Uganda National Health Laboratory Service within the Ministry of Health based in Kampala Uganda. The partnership was formed to support a laboratory strengthening Pilot. The Pilot will run 12 months.

The CARES Initiative Supports the UNAIDS 90-90-90 Target

More than 30 years after HIV first appeared, there are an estimated 37 million cases worldwide with nearly 70% of HIV+ patients living in Sb Saharan Africa followed by South East Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe

HIV Diagnosis Up To Four Times Faster

Africa’s poorest and most vulnerable can benefit from simple HIV test which monitors disease progression, enabling governments to deliver comprehensive treatment programs. Improving diagnostics in rural communities Prof Debbie Glencross is Director and Principle Pathologist.

New WHO Guidelines for HIV

New World Health Organization guidelines seek to find and protect those at greatest risk of advanced HIV disease. Counting the number of CD4 cells in a patient’s blood is the only accurate way of monitoring how well their immune system is working and predicting the progression of HIV.