OraSure Technologies has announced a commitment of up to $20 million over four years from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in support of the medical device company's efforts to offer its OraQuick HIV self-test at an affordable price in fifty developing countries in Africa and Asia.
As part of a charitable support agreement, the funding will consist of payments tied to the volume of product sold by OraSure and reimbursement of certain related costs, not to exceed $6 million in any single year. The funding will enable nongovernmental organizations in eligible countries that receive funding from government or public sector agencies and donors such as the Children's Investment Fund Foundation, the Global Fund, PEPFAR, and UNITAID to access HIV self-testing at a reduced price.
The OraQuick HIV Self-Test is a rapid, point-of-care test that enables individuals to detect antibodies to both HIV-1 and HIV-2 with an oral swab within minutes. It's the same test used in the company's in-home HIV test, which is the only FDA-approved in-home test for consumers.
"Diagnosing HIV quickly and accurately is critical to both improving treatment access and preventing new infections," said Emilio Emini, director of the HIV program at the Gates Foundation. "This initiative will allow for increased access to self-conducted HIV screening, resulting in a substantially improved ability to recognize and treat individuals living with HIV."