Advocates call on PEPFAR to roll out LAM test

TB advocates
Feb. 23, 2017, 7:44 p.m.
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TB advocates urge PEPFAR to provide immediate access to the LAM test for TB diagnosis in HIV-positive people with advanced immunosuppression.

In an open letter sent to the leadership of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) on 8 February 2017, TB advocates congratulated PEPFAR for its prioritization of expediting diagnosis of TB in people with HIV and asked for PEPFAR’s support for the immediate introduction of the LAM test for detection of TB in extremely vulnerable people with HIV in all PEPFAR-funded countries and programs.

The test, marketed as the Determine TB LAM Ag test by Alere, is a rapid, urine-based, low-cost, point-of-care test. It is recommended by the World Health Organization and is the first TB diagnostic test ever to demonstrate a clear mortality benefit in a randomized study among HIV-positive people with advanced immunosuppression.

“We are concerned that people with advanced HIV are missing opportunities for simpler, faster diagnosis of TB and therefore survival.”

The signatories requested a response before 27 February 2017.

To read the full letter, click here.

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On 27 February 2017, PEPFAR leadership responded agreeing that “the LAM antigen assay is a useful test, with the potential to save lives”, outlining the steps and measures already undertaken by PEPFAR to roll out the test in the PEPFAR-funded countries and programs, and highlighting what remains to be done. 

To read the full response, click here.