NACA, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Begins PrEP Study, Train Journalists In Calabar

In Breaking News, Health, National News, Reports

By Archibong Jeremiah

Participants at the training
Participants at the training

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has just concluded a one day training for journalists in Cross River as part of a study they embarked on in Nigeria, using 3 States as the variables (Cross River, Anambra and Plateau).

The study “Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, PrEP is aimed at determining the best way to include PrEP in the nation’s HIV prevention programing.

The essence of the training according to NACA Team Leader Dr. Stella Agbim is to acquaint the pressmen of the necessary technicalities they would encounter in the course of the study as well as build a relationship with them.

She urged all participants to note that the training “is a clarion call to support and make our society better for all irrespective of health challenges.”

The resource persons: Dr. Adat Promise, Obase Okanke, Godwin Odemije, Site Behavioral Surveillance Focal Officer And Site Community Engagement Focal Officer, all in separate chats harped on the need to see this as a community development service and that confidentiality is vital.

The study is to last for 24 months and targets getting 200 couples in sexual relationship, where one partner is infected with HIV and the other is not in Cross River as well as 200 each in the two other variable States.

The benefits include to prevent the uninfected partner from getting infected, free sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, free family planning of choice for couple, free HIV education and prevention messages.

The focal drug tested in this study is “Truvada” which they say is working but the testing is to see its impenetrability in Nigeria. PrEP is already in use in many countries to prevent HIV new infections among sexually active couples.

The journalists trained are from twelve media houses within Cross River including CrossRiverWatch.

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