News / Health

Color-Coded HIV Test Detects Infection Quickly and Cheaply

Jessica Berman
Researchers have developed a new test for HIV - the virus that causes AIDS - that is reported to be ten times more sensitive and much less expensive than existing methods.  The new test could significantly improve diagnosis and treatment in the developing world.

The new HIV blood test uses microscopic gold flecks, or nanoparticles, to detect the presence of an HIV marker - a viral protein called p-24 - in the patient's blood serum, according to Molly Stevens, a professor of biomedical materials at Imperial College, London.

“And the way it does that is by making some gold nanoparticles aggregate together in a clump, and that will look blue to the eye, whereas if the disease-related protein isn’t there, then those nanoparticles will stay very separate, which will look red to the eye," said Stevens.
 
Stevens says the nanoparticle test is more sensitive than conventional HIV blood testing. So far, she says, researchers have successfully used the color test on both HIV-positive and uninfected individuals.

“And, in fact, also [with] patients with HIV who had a very tiny viral load that wasn’t able to be detected with conventional techniques.  So, we were actually able to detect virus in those patients that would have rendered a negative signal," she said.

Stevens says the goal now is to make the prototype HIV test more portable and user-friendly, so it can be delivered and administered anywhere. She says it would be especially useful in poorer regions of the world where medical resources are scarce, infection rates are high, and the need for simple, fast HIV screening is great.

Rapid HIV detection is critical to halting the spread of the life-threatening virus and allowing HIV-positive individuals to begin antiretroviral drug therapy as soon as possible.

An article on the development of a highly sensitive low-cost HIV test is published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid