Within the views of the medical skilled, although the COVID-19 pandemic has strained well being programs and uncovered gaps in public well being nearly in every single place, newer HIV prevention choices exist that utilise antiretroviral medicines to forestall HIV an infection earlier than publicity to HIV. Sadly, HIV administration in Nigeria is marred by low consciousness on remedy and prevention companies.
Internationally, prevention of HIV in excessive threat populations is going on to cut back new infections significantly among the many younger inhabitants that’s principally affected. Often called Pre-exposure Prophylaxis, PrEP, in line with the Director of Analysis, Nigeria Institute for Medical Analysis, NIMR, Prof. Oliver Chukwujekwu Ezechi is a manner for individuals who should not have HIV however who’re at very excessive threat of getting HIV to forestall HIV an infection by taking a tablet every single day.
Ezechi defined that the tablet which model identify is Truvada comprises two medicines tenofovirdisoproxil fumarate plus emtricitabine (TDF/FTC).
In response to him, when taken as directed, PrEP is larger than 90 per cent efficient at stopping HIV, protects towards HIV, however not STIs or being pregnant.
“PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is an HIV prevention technique by which individuals who haven’t got HIV take HIV medication to cut back their threat of getting HIV if they’re uncovered to the virus. PrEP can cease HIV from taking maintain and spreading all through your physique.
Sustaining that at present, there are solely two FDA-approved each day oral medicines for PrEP, he maintained that it’s strictly prescribed to HIV-negative adults and adolescents who’re at excessive threat for getting HIV by intercourse or injection drug use.
To have a efficient PrEP, the programmes should be appropriately centered in line with the epidemiological profile in a given nation or setting to succeed in the highest-risk inhabitants teams and people.
He lamented that PrEP companies are affected by widespread poverty, younger populations and rising inhabitants that require PrEP for HIV prevention, ongoing emergencies -conflicts, insecurity, unrest and financial misery in addition to weak well being infrastructure and restricted well being workforce.
Talking on HIV care continuum, he identified that with out prevention companies, care and remedy retention, new HIV infections will probably be like unlocked faucet.
Ezechi burdened the necessity for tailor-made prevention companies in administration of HIV comparable to safety earlier than HIV publicity PrEP, safety throughout intercourse: barrier strategies eg condom, safety throughout drug injection: syringe alternate programme, safety after HIV publicity – Submit Publicity Prophylaxis, defending others if HIV constructive utilizing Remedy as prevention (TasP), Prevention of Mom To Little one Transmission and HIV testing companies comparable to HIV self-testing.
In her presentation entitled: “HIV Self – Testing – An Rising prevention strategy in Nigeria” throughout a media coaching for journalists organised by INTERNEWS in Lagos, HIV Self-Testing Officer, Jhpiego, Mrs Tobi Ademola- Kay who famous that solely 67 p.c of individuals residing with HIV know their standing in line with UNAIDS, 2018 report regretted that there was a low HIV testing protection amongst males, younger folks and key inhabitants in Nigeria.
She mentioned HIVST was a course of by which a person desirous to know his or her HIV standing collects oral fluid or blood pattern, performs HIV take a look at, and interprets the outcomes by him or herself privately, appropriately, and precisely.
“HIVST is a screening take a look at which doesn’t present an HIV-positive diagnosis-as all individuals with reactive outcomes should be linked to a educated supplier for additional testing and affirmation.
“HIVST will play a considerable function in accelerating progress in the direction of the UNAIDS 95:95:95 targets by the tip of 2030.”
Sharing the Jhpiego/Star Mission expertise on the advantages of HIVST, she mentioned HIVST was out there to key populations and hard-to-reach shoppers and might be purchased over-the-counter.
In response to her, HIVST provides privateness that allays confidentiality issues and decreasing stigmatisation and discrimination in addition to ease of use with minimal bio-hazard waste generated.
Ademola-Kay mentioned the self-testing machine promotes companion testing expands testing to companions of PLHIV and social networks of key populations.
“It additionally Will increase entry to HIV testing companies and data of HIV standing, assist handle the massive hole in HIV case discovering and quickly improve uptake of HIV testing companies.”
Noting that there have been challenges implementing HIVST Scale up within the face of COVID, she lamented poor Data and consciousness among the many normal populace.
She additionally added that there was additionally the problem of non or no disclosure outcomes and relative excessive price of HIVST kits in non-public sector area on account of monopoly of product.
To create demand for HIVST, Ademola-Kay referred to as for the dissemination of demand creation supplies throughout numerous media, group interventions to create demand, sensitisation and consciousness in addition to the necessity for personal sector interventions.
Vanguard Information Nigeria