South Africa has announced a recall of 500,000 HIV test kits after some had proven to be faulty. Back in November, the World Health Organization had issued warnings about SD Bioline's finger-prick tests because of inconclusive results. The South African government bought the kits, reportedly worth $2.8 million, from a South Korean company.
"The set order was about 500,000, and all of them have been recalled as a precaution," health ministry spokesman Joe Maila told Agence France-Presse.
Writes the wire service:
South Africa, which launched a massive HIV testing campaign in 2010, had already begun using the finger-prick test kits. The WHO said the kits did not return false results but were plagued by inconclusive readings.
"The test displayed an unacceptably high rate of invalid test results.... Thus no test interpretation is possible and so one is likely to have no result rather than an incorrect result," the organisation said.
South Africa has the world's largest HIV caseload, with six million people currently living with the virus.
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(Photo: REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen)