DG, NACA, Sani Aliyu (Image Credit: Premium Times)
DG, NACA, Sani Aliyu (Image Credit: Premium Times)

The Director General of the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Sani Aliyu says the Federal Government cannot fund Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) due to the cost involved.

Concise News reports that in an interview with Premium Times, Aliyu says the drug costs about $1,300 (N468,000) per month in the U.S.

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“Pre Exposure Prophylaxis refers to people going on HIV drugs, for those who are repeatedly exposed to HIV,” Aliyu says.

“Particularly, men who have sex with men and female sex workers who do not use condoms.

“If they are on HIV drugs for a prolonged period, even though they are repeatedly exposed to the virus, it’s unlikely they will catch the virus.

“Ideally, it should be used together with condoms because HIV drugs can only prevent HIV, they will not stop you from catching other STI,” he says.

Aliyu adds: “because of the cost involved, the government cannot fund PrEP but some of our partners are funding this,” he says, while not elaborating.

Advocacy and Marketing Manager at AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Steve Aborisade
Advocacy and Marketing Manager at AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Steve Aborisade

PrEP will appear ‘like an extra burden’ on Nigeria – Expert

Steve Aborisade, the advocacy and marketing manager, AIDs HealthCare Foundation (AHF) an NGO, says the distribution of PrEP in Nigeria is unrealistic and ”may not be possible anytime soon.”

According to Aborisade, the drug is too expensive and ”will be an extra burden for a country like Nigeria still trying to put people on anti-retroviral”.

“The main challenge with PrEP is that it is expensive; in a country like Nigeria and other Africa countries trying to treat people living with HIV free of charge, it is like an extra burden.

“Nigeria is still trying to breach the huge gap in the treatment of people living with HIV. Making PrEP available now will seem like we are not focused. The priority should be to get everyone who needs Anti Retroviral (ARV)on ARVs.

“Government cannot fund the procurement of PrEP alongside the ARVs.

“To be realistic, the resources to put people on it is not available,” he says.