The Institute of Human Virology of Nigeria (IHVN) says it will work with Rivers Government and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to strengthen the state’s HIV diagnostic capacity.
The Chief Executive Officer of the institute, Dr Patrick Dakum disclosed this on Saturday in Abuja.
“In Port Harcourt, what we have been asked to do and we are funded to do is, principally to work with the government of Rivers State, with the technical support of CDC. We are going to first of all, identify facilities that do not have HIV diagnostic and treatment capabilities.
“Two, we are not going to be limited to the facilities we will also be working on going to communities to identify high risk groups. We will identify people in communities that the prevalence is much higher and then, we’ll place those people on treatment.
“We are going to be strengthening the diagnostic capacity in Rivers; we are going to be looking at what their molecular diagnostic capacity is. That is, the ability to be able to do the viral load.
“And, working with our funding agencies, we’ll be seeing what best to do to ensure that the services are provided,” he said.
Dakum also said that the institute would work with other partners in the state to institutionalse the care for HIV patients.
He said that based on a Nigeria HIV/AIDS Impact and Indicator Survey, two organisations had been identified to scale up identification of people with HIV and place them on treatment in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States.
Dakum added that the report from the survey had given the organisation an idea of the prevalence of HIV noting that Akwa Ibom and Rivers had the highest prevalence in the country.
He however said a lot of efforts were being put in place to prevent, care and treat people living with HIV.