The developing market landscape for HIV rapid diagnostic tests

A recently published report into the HIV rapid diagnostic test market landscape, produced in coordination with the World Health Organization, aims for a healthier, more sustainable market. Here, Pathology in Practice presents a summary of the report, including the current state of HIV testing and aims for the near future.

The global testing and treatment targets of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) were not met in 2021 and the world is off-track in its efforts to reach the 2030 95-95-95 goals. For testing, the global target is to ensure that 95% of people with HIV know their status; however, in 2022 only 86% were aware. Testing has a cascading effect on other HIV response targets as it directly affects the number of people who may access treatment and prevention. This is clearly reflected in the data from 2022 which estimates that 76% of people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy and 71% of people living with HIV had suppressed viral loads (Fig 1).

A newly released report on the integrated HIV rapid diagnostic test (RDT) market has highlighted how market factors can affect availability and access to essential diagnostic services. The report was released shortly after the World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution to strengthen diagnostic capacity, which calls for the WHO to collect data on affordability, availability and access to essential diagnostics, and seeks to answer the question: ‘From a market perspective, what could get in the way of achieving global HIV testing targets?’ The report provides a common understanding of forces impacting the HIV RDT market, visibility around key market challenges, and potential ways to address those challenges.

The HIV testing market is at an inflection point driven by:

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