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1 in 4 people infected with HIV don’t know it, and up to 50 percent of ongoing transmissions come from people who were recently infected. Early detection is critical and life-saving since people are most infectious to others immediately after infection.

Abbott’s ARCHITECT HIV Ag/Ab Combination test, is now available to help people find out their status sooner. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June and developed based on innovative science and technology, this novel test can help stem the spread of the infection by detecting the virus earlier than ever before. Clinical trials demonstrated earlier detection by up to twenty days earlier than today’s antibody-only tests that are currently available in the U.S.

The Abbott ARCHITECT HIV Ag/Ab Combo test is important because it detects both antigens and antibodies, and as a result, it can detect the virus during both acute and chronic stages of infection – from newly infected to people living with HIV for years who don’t know it. The earlier someone is tested, counseled and potentially treated for HIV, the better the chance of stopping the virus from infecting others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that a person who knows they are infected is 3.5 times less likely to transmit HIV than a person who’s infected and doesn’t know it. There have been multiple instances of people in the early-stage window period that were confirmed positive for HIV by this new test. Before this, they would have taken the standard antibody test and appeared negative. This test will allows patients to get on therapy earlier and help stem the tide of the epidemic and decrease new infections substantially.