Children at risk of AIDS should be tested at birth – UN

A nurse takes blood for a free HIV test on the National Day of HIV-AIDS testing in San SalvadorBy Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) – More than a quarter of a million children each year are born infected with the virus that causes AIDS, but too few are being tested early to receive treatment and prolong their lives, the United Nations said on Wednesday. Michele Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, called for diagnostic kits to be improved for detection in babies of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that causes AIDS, and for their "still high" current price of $ 25-50 to be brought down. "Irrespective of the market size we need to make sure that diagnostics are made available for children," he told a news conference in Geneva ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1. But where we are failing is also making early diagnostics." U.S.-based Abbott Laboratories and Swiss drugmaker Roche are among the main manufacturers of HIV diagnostics, according to senior UNAIDS officials.

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