The Anambra State Government, through the State Ministry of Health, is partnering with Achieving Health Nigeria Initiative (AHNI) and Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), to to assess the use of HIV self-testing (HIVST) statewide.
Health Commissioner Dr. Afam Obidike said the state will continue to partner with AHNI, IHVN and other partners to identify HIV-positive patients and provide them with treatment. using available technology.
“HIV causes AIDS and interferes with the body’s ability to fight infections, the virus can be transmitted through contact with infected blood, semen or vaginal secretions and it is also spread during unprotected sex with a partner. infected.
“HIV self-testing is very commendable, we are appealing for more support, especially now that floods are ravaging some communities in the state. It is good that we have increased the number of people we let’s test, especially using modern technology to perform self-testing, which will also help end the stigma of HIV patients.”
He assured them that Governor Charles Soludo’s administration is committed to improving the health care of Anambra residents through successful partnerships.
“As government, we will provide an office for the IHVN team to feel comfortable and relaxed in achieving their goals.”
Dr. Charles Odima, Deputy Project Manager, Global Fund National Aligned HIV/AIDS Initiative (NAHI) Grant and Project Manager for Achieving Health Nigeria (AHNI) Initiative, said they are supporting a global response to the surge of HIV which is ultimately heading towards controlling the HIV epidemic in the state.
“According to him, the IHVN team is leading the national program which is the evaluation and evaluation of the uptake of HIV self-testing. HIV self-testing is a modality to achieve more of these high-risk groups like the key population, adolescent girls and young women within the state.”
Dr. Odima noted that the teams are in the state to galvanize efforts, support the state team to raise awareness and make progress towards increasing uptake of HIV self-testing.
“So we are here with the commissioner to introduce the IHVN team and also have the consent and support of the state government. We are delighted that in his hospitality, the commissioner undertook to circumvent the problem by providing an office with which the team could work.
“Our goal is to reach more people in the state with HIV services so that we can continually strive to reduce the prevalence and incidence rate of HIV, especially among the young population. .”
The Evaluation Project Coordinator, Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, Mr. Silas Gurumdi explained that the evaluation of HIV self-testing is to assess the impact of HIV self-testing that takes place for two years in Anambra. .
“The evaluation will seek to answer the following research questions. Does the aggregate data from Nigeria and Uganda show the impact of HIVST among priority populations and demonstrate the demographics of those who get tested and identify unreached target populations?
“What are the gaps in the HIV prevention and care cascades, from HIVST distribution, to confirmatory testing, to linkage to care and provision of antiretroviral therapy or prevention services? What are the costs to health providers of different HIVST delivery models and which models or combination of models would be cost effective for policy makers to implement in Nigeria and Uganda?
“The goal is to see if there is progress being made, some of the shortcomings that have been encountered, and then to suggest ways to do things in a more robust way. We know AHNI has been at the forefront -care of providing these services, it’s really good to provide the services, but we also need to know to what extent it has affected the population in one way or another.
“We want to accelerate the use of HIV self-testing and that will help reduce the pressure in most health systems that are on the ground because if you use self-testing it will certainly help people to know their status without disturb the healthcare workers, except when treatment is necessary.”