Nigeria commits to AIDS vaccine development

In Nigeria, around 3.3 million people were living with HIV/AIDS in 2010. To try to combat this, the country is kick-starting its vaccine program again. At the National HIV Vaccine Plan Development Workshop, AllAfrica reported that professor John Idoko, director-general of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, said that though he believed that preventive vaccines would be the ultimate tool to end the HIV pandemic, he accepted that the country's 2001 HIV vaccine plan hasn't made any progress.

Idoko would want an HIV vaccine plan to integrate research and development. He said to AllAfrica: "Nigeria must get in to the research now and avoid the failures that have stalled efforts to deal with hepatitis B in the past. We cannot afford not to be part of the global initiative because the number of subtypes we have are numerous and we don't have a definite answer as to whether we need a polyvalent or monovalent vaccine," he noted.

This was supported by Robbie Nelson, country director of the U.S. Defense Department's Walter Reed Program-Nigeria, and Chidi Nwaneka, executive director of the African AIDS Vaccine Partnership. Nwaneka said Nigeria would need a plan with realistic actions and structures built into it to enable its success.

According to the UNAIDS website, the Nigerian government has committed to working with UNAIDS and the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to stop new HIV infections in childhood.

- see the article on the UNAIDS website
- check out the AllAfrica article

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