Washington, DC, August 12, 2010 The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) announce a webinar An Update on HIV Testing: New Tools and Optimized Algorithms to be held September 16 at 2:00pm Eastern. The webinar will last 90 minutes.
Since the first case was reported in 1981 until 2006, more than 980,000 diagnosed cases of AIDS were reported to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The CDC now estimates that more than one million people in the US may be infected with HIV of whom 25 percent may be unaware and can unknowingly infect others. Although the number of people in the US living with HIV has increased in recent years, the number of new infections annually remains relatively stable. However, with an estimated 56.300 people infected with HIV each year, new infections continue at far too high a level.
Recent guidelines and recommendations from CDC and APHL have expanded HIV screening. The increased use of Point-of-Care and lab-based tests in both low- and high-prevalence settings has provided critical information that is now being used to construct new algorithms that may further decrease the time from screening to confirming HIV infection, with the ultimate goal of decreasing time to diagnosis and treatment. The webinar will examine currently available HIV tests and analyze proposed alternative algorithms that rely on the use of new assays and technologies such as antigen/antibody combination tests and Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (NAAT). The webinar will also explore how these new testing strategies will update the conventional algorithm of Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA) which, if positive, must be confirmed with a more specific test ‘Western blot’. The webinar will look at ongoing efforts from CDC and APHL as well as partnership opportunities for clinical and public health labs.
The expert faculty for the webinar is Margaret Lampe, MPH, RN, Health Education Specialist in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at CDC in Atlanta, GA, and Barbara Werner, PhD, Infectious Disease Consultant in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA. Moderating the webinar is Rex Astles, PhD, DABCC, FACB, Senior Health Scientist at CDC.
Almost 30 years since first being diagnosed, HIV/AIDS remain a major health issue in the US and elsewhere in the world. AACC invites journalists reporting on the disease to participate in this important webinar. For a complimentary press registration, complete and submit a Press Registration Form. For more information about the webinar or AACC, contact Peter Patterson on either of the above phone numbers or at firstname.lastname@example.org.