HIV testing kits in Kenya are faulty, WHO

Shocking revelations

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A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that seven out of the eight widely used HIV Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) were faulty.

According to the study, Kenya was among other African countries where the HIV kits performed poorly.

For the research, blood samples were collected from HIV clinics in Kenya, Guinea, Uganda, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and tested with the eight kits at a WHO collaborating laboratory in Antwerp, Belgium.

Only one of the kit met the WHO threshold.

“Individual kits performed more poorly than in WHO evaluations, with only one test (STAT-PAK) meeting the recommended thresholds,” the report read.

In a report by the Standard, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) - an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization - study leader Cara S. Kosack noted: “Indeed, there were cases of misdiagnosis. Quite some actually!”

Last year, a woman identified as Ms Esther Mwakazi and her one-year-old son moved to court seeing for justice after being misdiagnosed with HIV in Kwale and put on ARVs for three months.

Ms Mwakazi had gone to Diani Health Centre for ante-natal check-up, where the medics told her that she was HIV positive.

According to the research, one kit returned a total of 438 false positives from the 2,785 samples collected from August 2011 to January 2015.

The report also indicated that 10.5 percent misdiagnoses occur in African countries.

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