FDA approves Roche's improved HIV viral load test

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com April 15 2003 12:00 AM ET

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Roche's updated version of a test used to detect and measure HIV in the blood of people infected with the virus. The Cobas Amplicor HIV-1 Monitor Test version 1.5 can measure viral loads as low as 50 copies of HIV RNA per milliliter of blood plasma. The test can also detect a broader range of HIV subtypes than the previous version of the test. Roche officials say the viral load test will "be crucial to HIV patient care on a global basis." The new test kit is expected to be available worldwide by the end of the month.