Recalled HIV tests not giving false results: WHO

2012-07-17 13:14

Johannesburg - South Africa is recalling 500 000 HIV test kits it ordered from a South Korean company despite a World Health Organisation (WHO) warning over inconclusive results, the health department said on Tuesday.

Authorities are investigating how the SD Bioline tests were ordered earlier this year after the WHO issued notices in November last year, health spokesperson Joe Maila said.

"The set order was about 500 000, and all of them have been recalled as a precaution," Maila told AFP.

The South Korean company issued a recall after the WHO flagged the problem again in June.

South Africa, after launching 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.

Media reported the tests had been bought for R22.5m.