Dr Sani Aliyu who is the Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS(NACA) revealed that the world has made a significant progress on HIV vaccine research and that the licensable HIV vaccines will be available soon.
Aliyu stated this on Thursday in Abuja, at a news conference as part of the activities to commemorate the 2017 World HIV Vaccine Advocacy Day.
For the past 30 years, since the discovery of HIV, Aliyu said that the world has made significant progress in HIV vaccine research.
He stated that in 2009, the vaccine field achieved proof-of-concept that a preventive HIV vaccine is possible.
“In 2012, three different HIV vaccine development approaches are moving to efficacy trials simultaneously; two the three are vaccine candidates and the third is a vaccine related approach.’’
The director-general said NACA is working with the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) to fast-track HIV vaccine research in Nigeria.
Nigeria also invested in the planning and preparing for HIV vaccine research to be conducted in the country, with several competent researchers in the field in Nigeria, says Aliyu.
He said Nigeria also had a National HIV vaccine plan to provide a framework and facilitate the process of research.
He also stated that the dream of NACA was to ensure that Nigerians have access to an effective HIV vaccine soon.
“While we wait for this research breakthrough, we shall continue to facilitate access of Nigerians to existing HIV prevention tools.
“Elimination of Mother to child Transmission of HIV is a priority for the country and a goal that must be achieved,’’ Aliyu said.
Mr Godwin Odemijie who is the representative of HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Society stated that May 18, 2017, is the 20th Anniversary of HIV vaccine advocacy day.
He stated that the day is to remind policy makers, partners and key stakeholders the need to develop vaccine to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.
“We will continue to talk about the prevalence of AIDS not total elimination if we don’t have a vaccine in place, it is a potent vaccine that can really check the incidence of HIV.”