FIRST ON EWN:Treasury approves banned HIV kit

A tender worth R22,5m was awarded for a globally banned HIV testing kit.

SD Bioline HIV Testing Kit. Picture: Standard Diagnostics, Inc.

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News has learnt that government awarded a R22,5 million tender for HIV testing kits, initially banned by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The National Treasury confirmed to Eyewitness News that 4.5 million testing kits were approved.

The Treasury insisted the kit was given the thumbs up by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases.

WHO declared the HIV testing kit SD Bioline should not be distributed by any government because they were found to provide incorrect results to patients.

After this clear recommendation was made in January, South Africa recalled the testing kits that were being used by state facilities.

Despite this, government again ordered several million more SD Bioline kits in June to be distributed to local hospitals and clinics.

National Treasury spokesperson Jabulani Sikhakhane said the tender was approved because the kits were tested and found to be okay.

He said he could not confirm whether the kits have, however, been distributed.