The STI Clinic News > HIV Could Be Detected on DVD Inspired Machine
# Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 | Categories: HIV

Early detection and diagnosis of HIV are key aspects related to a better prognosis in HIV. However, there are many reasons why individuals may get diagnosed long after their infection. For instance, some individuals may consider themselves to be low risk and not bother to get tested. Similarly, the choice of getting tested is not a privilege offered to everyone across the globe and testing can be expensive. However, this may soon change, as researchers from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden suggest that it may be possible to use modified DVD players for HIV testing.

Their findings were recently published in Nature, where the team explained the key alterations that needed to be done in further detail. Essentially, rather than having a light sensor that reads DVDs, the equipment would require a light sensor that could read information from blood samples. In addition to that, there would be a need for a semi translucent disc, which would hold the sample. Lastly, there would be a need for a different type of software. (In other words, not a DVD player at all but they clearly wanted a headline…).


The early prototype that has been developed appears to be functional and if this apparatus were to go further to be developed for clinical use, there could be many benefits. In addition to being made at a low cost ($200 in contrast to $30 000 or more), it would also be portable and easy to use. Perhaps most importantly, it would make fast and reliable results a reality in more clinics across the globe.


We were intrigued to hear about this report, as we have long been aware of the problems related to a delayed diagnosis. We were particularly glad to hear that the report was coming from the Royal Institute of Technology, which has a strong standing in research. As such, we are inclined to think that the research community will give serious consideration to these findings and that there will be more research dedicated to making the development of this equipment a reality.


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