The Particulars: In some settings, access to CD4 testing for determining the eligibility for antiretroviral therapy in patients with HIV is constrained. A simple, instrument-free test provided at the point of care may improve access to CD4 testing for patients with HIV in rural areas.

Data Breakdown: Australian researchers developed and tested the accuracy of a visual CD4 point-of-care test and compared it with flow cytometry in determining treatment eligibility among patients with HIV. With an overall classification accuracy of 85%, the prototype point-of-care test correctly identified 97% of CD4 counts below 350 μl and 80% above 350 μl.

Take Home Pearl: A point-of-care CD4 test may help improve access to HIV treatment for patients in areas where access to testing and loss to follow-up are major concerns.