Atomo Diagnostics boosted by federal funding for HIV prevention and self-test expansion

Go to Imelda Cotton author's page
By Imelda Cotton - 
Atomo Diagnostics ASX AT1 HIV budget provision

Medical device company Atomo Diagnostics (ASX: AT1) has welcomed the Australian government’s commitment to fund the expansion of self-testing procedures for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in this week’s federal budget.

The company anticipates that a significant portion of the $43.9 million committed to HIV prevention will be used for the procurement of more of its HIV self-test kits.

Atomo’s self-test kit is the world’s first integrated, blood-based rapid diagnostic test for HIV screening and has been recognised globally for its innovative design, performance and ease of use.

It is the only kit listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods and is reported to provide accurate results within 15 minutes with a specificity and sensitivity level of 99.6%.

HIV prevention

Atomo chief executive officer John Kelly welcomed the government’s commitment to HIV prevention.

“We are delighted to see the government recognise the critical need to ensure the availability of self-test kits and fund the rapid expansion of the national HIV self-test mail-out program and vending machine pilots,” he said.

“Both have proven very successful in increasing testing rates among groups not currently testing via healthcare facility-based services.”

Budget investment

The Albanese government announced this week that it would invest $43.9m to implement recommendations from the HIV Taskforce for eliminating HIV transmission nationwide by 2030.

The taskforce was established in November to recognise the critical role that self-testing plays in helping the nation reach its HIV targets.

The budget funding will be put towards enhanced access to HIV self-testing, care and resources.

Pilot programs

It will also be used to support pilot programs – that Atomo’s self-test kit has been instrumental in implementing – better inform people from culturally diverse communities about how to prevent HIV transmission and to build medical practitioner knowledge of HIV prevention strategies.

This is in addition to the planned rollout of self-testing vending machines and mail-out to encourage at-risk communities to test more frequently.

The government said its investment would provide the resources needed to end Australia’s HIV epidemic and demonstrate to the world that virtual elimination of HIV transmission is achievable.