PrEP: HIV ‘prevention’ drug many Nigerians need, don’t know about and can’t afford
Joan, a woman in her late 20s, brings home the bacon by engaging in sexual relations with individuals she scarcely knows; some she has never met.
Joan lives with a portion of her companions in Kubwa, a suburb town in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
She said she had no way out than to begin life as a sex specialist after she lost her folks at age 18.
Over the most recent six years, Joan says she has had intercourse with more than 100 men in various areas inside the nation.
She said she makes a trip on most occasions to meet a few customers dependent on their solicitation.
As a sex specialist, Joan does not comprehend what Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is, and the main aversion technique she thinks about is the utilization of a condom.
She, in any case, said the condom isn’t dependable as despite everything she gets the chance to treat some ‘major’ STIs (explicitly transmitted diseases) some of the time.
“I use condoms in every case except in all actuality, condoms have their very own psyche so they burst when they need to and that I can’t control.
“I lay down with various men consistently so I know I’m in danger of contracting explicitly transmitted contaminations each time I engage in sexual relations,” she said.
Unlawful, however flourishing
In spite of the fact that the sex exchange is unlawful in Nigeria, there is no uncertainty the exchange is as yet flourishing.
Much the same as Joan, many sex specialists PREMIUM TIMES talked with have not known about PrEP or know the significance of the medications.
Gloria, a 26-year-old sex laborer, demands she is definitely not a full-time sex specialist as she likewise functions as a secretary in a private firm.
She lives with her kin in an unpainted one-room loft in the Jabi zone of Abuja.
“I have various sexual accomplices, however, I don’t take any medications before sex or after to forestall diseases.
“I use condoms when required however not generally in light of the fact that I have a few accomplices I trust to such an extent. So I don’t utilize condoms with those; they favor it without condoms,” she said.
Pre-introduction prophylaxis (PrEP) is the utilization of a pill called Truvada to counteract the procurement of HIV disease by uninfected people.
Truvada is the blend of two antiretroviral drugs (Tenofovir + Emtricitabine) to keep the infection from spreading through the body.
Studies have demonstrated that Truvada can forestall HIV contamination in up to 90 percent of cases if the pill is taken day by day at pretty much a similar time.
In 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) first prescribed offering PrEP to just men who engage in sexual relations with men.
Be that as it may, in view of additional proof of the adequacy and agreeableness of PrEP, in September 2015, WHO prescribed individuals at significant danger of HIV disease ought to be offered PrEP as an extra avoidance decision, as a component of far-reaching counteractive action.
These individuals incorporate sex specialists, individuals in a blended status relationship (a relationship where one accomplice is contaminated by HIV and the other isn’t) and men who engage in sexual relations with men.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is one of the world’s most genuine general wellbeing challenges.
As indicated by UNAIDS, about 36.9 million individuals worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS in 2017, of which 1.8 million were kids.
The Nigerian HIV/AIDs Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) demonstrates that about 1.9 million Nigerians are as of now living with the ailment, as per the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA).
All around, in 2017 about 21.7 million individuals living with HIV (59 percent) were getting to antiretroviral treatment, an expansion of 2.3 million since 2016 and up from 8 million of every 2010.
Helps related passings are additionally said to have decreased by more than 51 percent since its crest in 2004.
In 2017, 940 000 individuals passed on from AIDS-related ailments around the world, contrasted with 1.4 million out of 2010 and 1.9 million out of 2004.
PrEP use internationally
In 2015, South Africa turned into the main Africa nation to endorse the utilization of Truvada as a type of PRep, trailed by Kenya.
As indicated by PrEP watch (https://www.prepwatch.org/), an expected 16,000 individuals are at present taking PrEP in South Africa. In Uganda, an expected 12,000 individuals are on PrEP, and around 8,700 individuals are on it in Zimbabwe.
In Tanzania, an expected 7,800 individuals are as of now taking PrEP and in Kenya, an expected 53,000 individuals are on PrEP.
Be that as it may, In Nigeria, where about 1.9 million individuals are living with HIV, just an expected 400 individuals, ‘at high danger of the disease’ areas of now utilizing PrEP.
This spots Nigeria at the base of Africa nations that suggest PrEP in its national HIV rules.
PrEP: Unavailable in medical clinics
At the point when this PREMIUM TIMES’ columnist visited some legislature claimed emergency clinics in Abuja, it occurred to her that the medications might be costly as none of the clinics had PrEP.
A medical attendant who talked on the state of obscurity at the Kubwa General emergency clinic said “You can scarcely get PrEP in this nation. It’s extremely uncommon and in the event that you, in the long run, get it in private clinics, it will be costly.
“We have Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) (used to counteract disease after presentation) in this medical clinic, and it’s for nothing out of pocket, however, we don’t have PrEP,” she said.
A visit to some private emergency clinics in the Nigerian capital additionally demonstrated the item is ‘rare’.
None of the private clinics had PrEP as at the time PREMIUM TIMES visited.
A lady at one of the medical clinics stated: “I prompt you to check centers explicitly implied for HIV patients. You can get it there, however, it will be at a cost,” she said.
In a meeting with the Director General of the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Sani Aliyu, he said the central government can’t finance PrEP because of the cost included.
The medication costs about $1,300 (N468,000) every month in the U.S.
“Pre Exposure Prophylaxis alludes to individuals going on HIV drugs, for the individuals who are more than once presented to HIV,” Mr. Aliyu said.
“Especially, men who engage in sexual relations with men and female sex specialists who don’t utilize condoms.
“In the event that they are on HIV drugs for a delayed period, despite the fact that they are over and over presented to the infection, it’s improbable they will contract the infection.
“Preferably, it ought to be utilized together with condoms since HIV medications can just anticipate HIV, they won’t prevent you from getting other STI,” he said.
Mr. Aliyu included: “in view of the cost included, the legislature can’t support PrEP yet a portion of our accomplices are financing this,” he said. He didn’t intricate further.
PrEP ‘doubtful’ in Nigeria – Expert
Steve Aborisade, the promotion and advertising administrator, AIDs HealthCare Foundation (AHF) an NGO, said the dispersion of PrEP in Nigeria is doubtful and “may not be conceivable at any point in the near future.”
He said the medication is excessively costly and “will be an additional weight for a nation like Nigeria as yet endeavoring to put individuals on against retroviral”.
“The primary test with PrEP is that it is costly; in a nation like Nigeria and other Africa nations endeavoring to treat individuals living with HIV for nothing out of pocket, it resembles an additional weight.
“Nigeria is as yet endeavoring to break the gigantic hole in the treatment of individuals living with HIV. Making PrEP accessible presently will appear as though we are not engaged. The need ought to be to get everybody who needs Anti Retroviral (ARV)on ARVs.
“Government can’t subsidize the obtainment of PrEP close by the ARVs.
“To be practical, the assets to put individuals on it isn’t accessible,” he said