HIV/AIDS Diagnostics: Overview
HIV infection can be identified either by the detection of HIV-specific antibodies in the blood or by demonstrating the presence of the virus by nucleic acid detection using polymerase chain reaction, p24 antigen testing, or by growing the virus in cell culture. Antibody testing is a method most commonly used to diagnose the HIV infection.
Apart from diagnostic HIV testing, laboratories also offer quantitative PCR (RNA) testing (viral load), which helps in determining the initiation of drug therapy and monitoring of the effectiveness of the therapy. HIV genotyping is a newer addition to patient management, and is used to track the development of drug resistance and guide the modification of antiretroviral drug selection.
In the virology test of HIV, both, HIV RNA and proviral DNA are amenable to assay. The major application of RNA assay in HIV medicine is in the measurement of viral load, which is essential to gauge the efficacy of antiretroviral therapy. Proviral DNA is incorporated in host cells, of which, the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) are the most accessible for testing. Both, proviral DNA and HIV RNA may be tested for diagnosis.
A quicker test checks for HIV antigen, a protein produced by the virus immediately after infection. It can confirm a diagnosis soon after the infection, and allow the person to take swifter steps to prevent the spread of the virus to others.
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High Rate HIV, Rise in Adoption of HIV Self-tests, and Increase in Awareness about HIV Diagnosis to Drive Market
According to the WHO, HIV is a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 32 million lives. In 2018, 770,000 people succumbed to HIV-related causes, globally. There were nearly 37.9 million people living with HIV at the end of 2018, with 1.7 million newly-infected individuals. A majority of the affected population lives in lower- and middle-income countries. Of the diagnosed population, around 23.3 million people are undergoing antiretroviral therapy. Hence, rise in the prevalence of HIV is projected to increase the demand for HIV/AIDS diagnostics, which, in turn, is anticipated to boost the growth of the market.
In 2016, the WHO published the first global guidelines on HIV self-testing, in which, HIV self-testing was recommended to be offered as an additional approach to HIV testing services. Fifty nine countries have adopted HIV self-testing policies, while others are currently developing them. The market for HIV self-tests continues to evolve rapidly. According to the WHO, global HIV self-test procurement volumes exceeded 1 million in 2017, and are estimated to increase rapidly to 16.4 million by the end of 2020.
Serological tests, such as RDTs or enzyme immunoassays (EIAs), detect the presence or absence of antibodies to HIV-1/2 and/or HIV p24 antigen. No single HIV test can provide an HIV-positive diagnosis. It is important that these tests are used in combination and in a specific order that has been validated. Several government organizations and agencies have developed public awareness campaigns for HIV diagnosis, treatment, and care.
A campaign that is sponsored by the CDC, called ‘Doing It’, creates awareness about the importance of HIV testing for all age groups. The campaign focuses on high-risk groups in the U.S. Another campaign named ‘One Test, Two Lives’ encourages healthcare providers to test pregnant women for HIV to reduce the number of infants born with HIV. These campaigns and initiatives boost the growth of the global HIV/AIDS diagnostics market.
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Instrument Demand on the Rise
In terms of product, the global HIV/AIDS diagnostics market has been classified into kits & reagents and instruments.
The instruments segment dominated the global HIV/AIDS diagnostics market in 2018, and the trend is projected to continue during the forecast period.
Growth of the segment is attributed to increase in the demand for HIV/AIDS diagnostic instruments in pharmaceutical and clinical diagnostics, due to cost-effectiveness and usage in various applications.
Rapid Tests (POC) to Dominate Market
In terms of test, the global HIV/AIDS diagnostics market has been classified into nucleic acid tests, rapid tests (POC), ELISA, and others
The rapid tests (POC) segment dominated the global HIV/AIDS diagnostics market in 2018, and the trend is anticipated to continue during the forecast period.
Low cost and faster results with high sensitivity and accuracy are factors that contribute to the growth of the segment.
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Diagnostic Laboratories to Flourish
In terms of end user, the global HIV/AIDS diagnostics market has been divided into hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, academic and research institutes, and others. Hospitals is expected to be a highly lucrative segment of the global HIV/AIDS diagnostics market during the forecast period.
The diagnostic laboratories segment is likely to be driven by rise in acute infections among the population and increase in diagnosis rates.
North America to Dominate Global Market
In terms of region, the global HIV/AIDS diagnostics market has been segmented into five major regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.
North America dominated the global HIV/AIDS diagnostics market in 2018, followed by Europe. Rise in the HIV population in North America increases the number of patients visiting hospitals. Growth of the market in the U.S. can be attributed to increase in the seroprevalence of the disease. Efforts to increase awareness about the adverse effects in certain cases if left undiagnosed and untreated contribute to the increase in the demand for diagnosis. These factors are attributed to the region’s dominance of the global HIV/AIDS diagnostics market.
Europe accounted for the second-largest share of the global HIV/AIDS diagnostics market in 2018. High seroprevalence of HIV among the population, rise in research & development activities, and increase in awareness about the prevention of HIV drives the HIV/AIDS diagnostics market in Europe.
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The HIV/AIDS diagnostics market in Asia Pacific is projected to expand at a high CAGR from 2019 to 2027. This can be attributed to increase in the number of acute infections.
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