HIV Cure in Nigeria: How Far So Far?
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system, our body’s natural defense against illness. Testing regularly for HIV means you can get antiretroviral treatment if you need it and stay healthy. AIDS describes a set of symptoms and illnesses that happen at the final stage of HIV infection,if left untreated
Since the HIV/AIDS scourge hit the world, lots of effort had been made to find a cure for it. So far, the world had only been able to find a means of management and no cure for now. Nigeria had been among the countries in the world that had been involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Aside media campaign against HIV/AIDS; Nigerian Doctors have also been involved in finding cure to the scourge. Dr. Abalaka comes to mind. This write up is going to consider the roles Nigerian medical industry has played over the years in finding cure to HIV/AIDS in Nigeria and the present situation of things
In 2015, it was widely publicized that one Nigerian professor, by the name Professor Maduike Ezeibe, discovered the cure for HIV/AIDS. He was a professor of Veterinary Medicine at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria.
However, nothing much had been heard about this since the discovery became news.
A host of other individual has also come up with various claims of discovering the cure for HIV/AIDS. However, many of them have been discovered not to be true cures. Today, Nigeria has the second highest HIV/AID burden in Africans after South Africa.
Nigeria is also third highest on global scale behind both India and South Africa. 2.9 million people are infected with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria today. Out of those who are infected, about 50% of them need antiretroviral drugs.
It must be made clear that antiretroviral drugs are not able to cure HIV/AIDS; they are only able to manage those having the virus. The antiretroviral drugs can kill the virus in the bloodstream of affected individuals, but they are not able to kill the virus in the brain blood circulation, because the drugs are not able to cross what is called the Blood-Brain barrier.
Nigeria’s effort against HIV/AIDS
Despite all the challenges, Nigeria has done quite well in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS. Since there is no certified cure yet, Nigerian populations infected with HIV/AIDS have to depend on preventive mode of treatment and care to live through life.
While antiretroviral may not be able to cure HIV/AIDS, it will prevent the virus from spreading and the infected person will never show any of the signs or symptoms associated with the viral infection. Resultantly, these individuals will be able to live normal life and will not even infect others through any means.
In order to combat HIV/AIDS properly, Nigeria now has up to 1,005 HIV treatment centers across the country. These treatment centers do offer comprehensive treatment for those who are HIV positive. Over 650,000 Nigerians living with the virus are able to access treatment management and care by visiting these places.
More than 3,500 health facilities across Nigeria now offer various services for the prevention of the vertical transmission of the virus to pregnant women.
It can be concluded that the spread of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria is decreasing, despite the unavailability of reliable cure. Aside treatment, management and care, public awareness is yet another factor leading to the decrease in the number of new infections being recorded.