Worldwide, HIV-1 continues to take a devastating toll. No country is spared, but one continent, Africa, is worse off than all others. In sub-Saharan Africa, over 22 million people are living with HIV, millions die of it every year, and, tragically, millions become newly infected. Even though access to treatment has been scaled up, the current reach of HIV testing services remains poor. In low- and middle-income countries, only 10% of those who need testing have access to it, and current therapeutic testing is far from perfect. It is vital that testing accompany antiretroviral therapy, especially viral load testing (the gold standard in industrialized nations), because it individualizes therapy and saves lives, money, and valuable resources, including the very drugs necessary to fight HIV.

One obstacle that leads to lack of testing is the inability to inexpensively collect blood samples and transport them to the testing laboratory. Current methods of collecting and shipping include dried blood spots (DBS) and frozen plasma. However, these methods suffer from low sample volume and expensive shipping regulations, respectively. These factors inhibit the number of tests that are performed because it is too expensive to ship the necessary volume of specimen required for many tests including viral load testing that is essential to monitor antiretroviral therapies.


The ViveBio Solution
ViveBio is working with collaborators who utilize its solutions to simplify transport of specimens from patient to laboratory. ViveST, which has been validated for use in testing plasma for HIV viral load and genotype, has been shown to be effective in shipping from both high-tech laboratories and remote areas. It has resulted in a less expensive shipping option while maintaining satisfactory results in HIV testing of the reconstituted specimen.

Along with our collaborators, ViveBio continues to research further uses for ViveST in the HIV arena. Tests have been conducted in alternative specimens such as whole blood, semen and CNS. Work has also been conducted with HIV immunoassays.


Select Publications
Comparative Effectiveness of Dried Plasma HIV-1 Viral Load Testing in Brazil using ViveST for Sample Collection. Journal of Clinical Virology, December 2010, p. 245-248.

Dried-Plasma Transport Using a Novel Matrix Collection System for Human Immunodefiency Virus and Hepatitis C Virus Virologic Testing. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, May 2009, p. 1491-1496

Cost Effectiveness of International Shipment of Dried Plasma for HIV Resistance Testing. IAS 2009; July 19-22, 2009; Cape Town, South Africa

HIV Diversity and Drug Resistance in Western Kenya From Plasma and Non-Plasma Genotyping. 4th International Workshop on HIV Transmission-Principles of Intervention; July 17-18, 2009; Cape Town, South Africa