NACA begins pilot study to prevent HIV/AIDS infection
The National Agency for the Control of AIDS(NACA) has begun a study in some states on pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PREP), an initiative geared toward the prevention and elimination of HIV/AIDS.
According to Mr Godwin Odemijie, the project’s media officer and consultant to NACA, the pilot scheme will take place in three states – Plateau, Anambra and Cross Rivers in October.
Odemijie, who paid an advocacy visit to the Jos Zonal office of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday, said NACA initiated the study because of its immense positive effects on the HIV/ AIDS pandemic.
“The study is not to find out the effectiveness of the Pre-exposure Prophylaxis, it is a long established fact that it is a very effective means of prevention of HIV/AIDS.
“It has been used in Cuba and that country now has a generation that is totally free from the disease,” he said.
Odemijie said that the study would bring 200 discordant couples where only one in each of the parties had tested positive to HIV .
“The study will work toward protecting and preventing the risky party from contracting the disease.
“The study will take us to a level where drugs could be administered on persons with similar risk to contracting the disease after exposing themselves to the possibilities.
“After taking such drug, the risk is eliminated and the possibility of contracting the disease is then wiped away,” he said.
Odemijie said that Jos University Teaching Hospital had been chosen for the Plateau study where the 200 sero-discordant couple would be used for the pilot study.
He disclosed that the project had three primary goals – measure the cost effectiveness of the model, estimate what would be needed to scale up the delivery model to the national level and to construct a model that effectively delivered PREP to sero-discordant couples.
He solicited NAN’s cooperation toward a successful study and called for effective and meticulous coverage of the study.
The Zonal Manager of NAN, Mr Ephraims Sheyin, in his remarks, assured the NACA team of NAN’s unflinching support in the coverage of the study.