Ermed Georgia
ALINITY SYSTEMS AND PATIENT CARE
May 31, 2018

HUNTING HIV AND HEPATITIS VIRUSES: A CONVERSATION WITH BBC WORLD NEWS

Abbott’s one-of-a-kind program helps keep pace with these threats.

Why do we need to track HIV and hepatitis viruses?
In a television interview with BBC World News, Dr. John Hackett, Jr. highlights why Abbott has a powerful tool to keep
pace with these viruses.
“HIV and hepatitis viruses can evolve to produce different strains at a very rapid rate,” said John Hackett, Jr., Ph.D.,
divisional vice president of applied research and technology for Abbott’s Diagnostics business, in an interview on BBC
World News. “The challenge that poses to diagnostic tests and blood screening tests is that if new strains emerge, they
may not be detected accurately or reliably by these tests. Recognizing this problem, that’s why more than 20 years ago,
we created the Abbott Viral Surveillance Program—the goal being able to monitor the diversity of these viruses globally
and to ensure that the tests we create could reliably detect all strains.”

Why focus on the Asia Pacific region?
Hackett spoke with Babita Sharma, BBC World News Anchor, about why Abbott includes the Asia-Pacific region in the
company’s Global Surveillance Program:
• Nearly half the world’s population is in the Asia-Pacific region1
• The Asia-Pacific region has the second highest prevalence of HIV in the world; the region also carries a major
part of the global burden of viral hepatitis.2-3
• “Because every strain is literally a plane ride away from somewhere else,” added Hackett.

Related Content
• Story: The Global Fight Begins Here. We are the Virus Hunters.

• Video: The Virus Hunters
• Infographic: Tracking HIV and hepatitis viruses

References
1. Population. United Nations. http://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/population/

2. HIV and AIDS in Asia and the Pacific: Regional overview. AVERT. https://www.avert.org/professionals/hiv-around-
world/asia-pacific/overview

3. Hepatitis. Coalition to Eradicate Viral Hepatitis in Asia Pacific. http://www.cevhap.org/index.php/en/about-viral-
hepatitis/hepatitis