The National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, has said Nigeria will soon commence the Pre – Exposure Prophylaxis, PrEP, and Treatment as Prevention, TasP, therapies for reduction and suppression of the rate of HIV infection especially on couples.
Director General, NACA, Prof John Idoko who made the announcement in Abuja last week, said the Agency would soon commence the processes through a study at three selected sites in Nnewi, Anambra State; Calabar, Cross River State, and Jos, Plateau State.
Idoko said government was commencing the study because of the immense positive effects on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country.
“Pre-Exposure prophylaxis or PrEP is a procedure for people who do not have HIV but who are at substantial risk of contracting the virus to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill with a brand name Truvada which contains two medicines every day to treat HIV.’’
Idoko disclosed that multiple studies carried out by the Agency shows that after six months, anti- retroviral therapy reduces HIV-1 concentrations to undetectable levels in the blood plasma and the genital compartments, adding that further studies reveal that HIV transmission by an infected person is significantly reduced when that person adheres to ART well enough to maintain viral suppression.
The study is expected to provide information on how to implement the strategies in a large population as part of a comprehensive public health programme aimed at preventing HIV infection.
The study will provide avenue for prophylaxis/treatment for long-term prevention of HIV infection for a sero-discordant couple in which the infected partner is at elevated risk.