Field Performance of PIMA Point-of-Care Machine for CD4 Enumeration Under a Mobile HIV Counseling and Testing Program in Remote Fishing Communities of Lake Victoria, Uganda

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2019 Apr;35(4):382-387. doi: 10.1089/AID.2018.0223. Epub 2019 Feb 14.


Uganda is among the most HIV/AIDS-afflicted countries, and many HIV-infected persons live in remote areas with poor access to health care. The success of HIV care programs relies in part on patient monitoring using CD4 T cell counts. We conducted an evaluation of the point-of-care PIMA test using BD FACSCount as a gold standard. One hundred fifty-one participants were enrolled, provided venous blood and samples tested at the point of care with the Alere PIMA™ CD4 Analyzer and the BD FACSCount in the UVRI-IAVI main laboratory. Correlation between the methods was assessed, as was the ability of the Pima Analyzer to predict values <200, <350, and ≥500 CD4 cells/mm3 when compared with BD FACSCount as the gold standard. A near-perfect positive Pearson correlation coefficient (r = 0.948; p < .0001) between the two methods was observed. The Alere PIMA Analyzer had a mean bias of -32.5 cells/mm3. The sensitivity and specificity, for PIMA to predict CD4 lymphocyte count less than 200 cells/mm3, were 71.4% and 100%, respectively; less than 350 cells/mm3 were 84.6% and 94.6%, respectively; and at CD4 count less than 500 cells/mm3 were 94.4% and 100%. The Alere Pima Analyzer provides reliable CD4 cell count measurement and is suitable for monitoring and screening eligible HIV patients in hard-to-reach settings.

Keywords: CD4 count; FACSCount; HIV; point of care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count / instrumentation
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count / methods*
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count / standards
  • Counseling*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Lakes
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / instrumentation
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mobile Health Units
  • Point-of-Care Systems / standards*
  • Rural Population
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Uganda