The federal government is to commence study on HIV treatments, known as Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and TasP (Treatment as Prevention) because of their immense positive effects on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis ((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 every day, while Treatment as Prevention (TasP) targets people who are already infected with HIV-1, reducing their infectiousness in the population.
Speaking to journalists yesterday, the director general, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Prof John Idoko, said that multiple studies have established that anti-retroviral drugs could be used to reduce the rate of infection in a population in those ways.
He said, “The study is not being done to determine whether PreP works or not as it has long been established that it actually works when used in combination with other methods of HIV prevention.
“This study is however, being carried out in Nigeria to see whether it will work in real life situations among the Nigerian population under normal conditions. The initial studies that showed that PreP works were done under well-controlled situations.”
According to Idoko, NACA and other key players that will participate in the study will collect relevant data that will tell how the strategies will work in real life situations.
“The study is expected to provide needed information on how to implement the strategies in a large population as part of a comprehensive public health programme aimed at preventing HIV infection.”