The survival and life expectancy rate of infants who have tested positive to the HIV/AIDS virus has been increased to over 90 per cent, thereby increasing Nigeria’s chances of achieving the global 2030 targets, which are expected to bring the epidemic to a considerable halt.
So far, Nigeria has been able to achieve only 24 per cent of UNAIDS’ 90:90:90 goals which stands for knowing of status, treatment and ensuring that treatment works and transmission is reduced.
Global Product Director for HIV and TB, Abbott, Dr. Rachel O’Shea who stated this at the just concluded African Science Laboratory Medicine conference in Abuja, said Abbott’s m-PIMA HIV-1/2 Detect technology allows fast, accurate testing for exposed infants, providing same-day results at the point of care and enabling early ART initiation to the infants who require treatment, thereby reducing child mortality, a key goal of the SDGs and other health and development agendas.
According to O’Shea, this new technology, which has been endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), has proven to improve patient care and has the ability to detect the presence of HIV in babies born with the virus.
She added that Nigeria was one of the countries that still has a long way to go in reaching the standard, noting that only 24 per cent of babies have the opportunity to be tested to know their status.
O’Shea stated that Abbott was known for its HIV test kit, which will be available in the country based on the regulatory policies of the government.
She said: “m-PIMA focuses on newborn babies. It speaks to the diagnosis of infants with HIV. If they have been found to test positive, they can start receiving antiretroviral drugs.
Without a comprehensive HIV test, babies who are HIV-positive will likely die before their second birthday. “It is therefore important for every pregnant woman diagnosed with HIV to have access to this test kit to save their babies lives.”
O’Shea said Nigeria is one of the countries that still has a long way to go to achieve the goals set by UNAIDS.