The Department of Medical Science has invented a new technique called in-house DNA-PCR which was developed to detect HIV infection in new born babies. It is easy and accurate and could be carried out in remote areas.
Deputy Director General of the Department MD Pratom Sawanpanyalert said the method was considered to cheaper for the same service overseas by 10 times. The result could be obtained quickly and any babies found to have contracted HIV from their mother could receive a medical treatment right away.
According to him, the process for the technology is simple and fast. A small amount of blood from the baby is needed on filter paper; the parent would then be instructed to mail the blood sample to the lab. There are currently 13 ISO standard laboratories around the country to test the samples.
The Clinical Research Center has made sure the labs and equipment are ready for the work and are in line with standards of the ISO 17043. Before the labs began the operation, Department of Medical Science staff has undergone training to assure the efficiency of the technology.
Parents can have their babies tested for HIV free of charge given that the service is covered by the social welfare scheme.
National News Bureau of Thailand