Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp) has announced that its fourth generation human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antigen/antibody combination assay for screening of HIV infection is now available.
In addition to the HIV assay, the company has also announced the availability of new diagnostic algorithm that significantly improves the screening and diagnosis of HIV infection.
This algorithm utilizes fourth generation test as a first step, with subsequent confirmation of the initial HIV-positive result with a highly sensitive and specific immunoassay that is US Food and Drug Administration approved to differentiate between HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections.
Nucleic acid testing further resolves inconsistent findings and identifies potential early acute infection.
The fourth generation HIV assays are capable of detecting both the HIV antibodies (IgG and IgM) and the HIV p24 antigen simultaneously prior to seroconversion.
These assays can detect HIV within seven days in acutely infected individuals.
LabCorp chief medical officer Mark Brecher noted fourth-generation HIV screening and associated supplemental testing is a valuable addition to the tools available to achieve early diagnosis of HIV.
"Detection of acute infections using the fourth-generation assay provides an improved opportunity for early intervention and the potential to affect transmission rates," Brecher added.
The New York State Department of Health and Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute have recommended the use of the new diagnostic algorithm for HIV screening.