By Ikenna Osuoha
The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has adopted a new oral self-test technology for HIV screening.
Dr Yewande Olafa, NACA Assistant Director, Community Prevention and Care Services disclosed this at the HIV/AIDS testing community outreach in collaboration with Mozuk Mediequip Solutions, in Abuja, on Saturday.
Olafa said the new technology was that of a non-blood based test kit, designed to promote privacy and confidence among users.
She said that the screening kit was oral based with simplicity, accuracy and fastness in ascertaining one’s HIV status.
“It is in line with commemoration of World Aids Day with the title, “Community makes the difference,” in which we are engaging the community to help in reduction of HIV spread,” Olafa said.
She urged Nigerians to embrace the new technology for HIV screening, saying that HIV detection was not the end of life.
” If you are positive with oraquick, don’t conclude yet, go for confirmation in a nearby hospital facility,” she said.
The NACA Assistant Director restated the readiness of the agency and other stakeholders to continue to reduce HIV infection through testing and awareness creation.
Mr Ralph Adeoye, General Manager, Mozuk Mediequip said the new HIV self-test kit which was endorsed and adopted by NACA and the Federal Ministry of Health has been used in over 50 countries around the world.
He said that the kit provides opportunity for individuals to test anywhere by themselves in private, which assures the confidentiality of their results and a further confirmation in health facilities.
Adeoye however added that individuals that are scared of been pricked with niddle as well as the sight of blood could still have the opportunity of knowing their status as it was fluid based and painless.
Also speaking, Ms Rhoda Ajibola, expressed satisfaction with the oral test kit which according to her was portable and efficient.
Ajibola, who said that the kit would help reduce stigma, noted that it was very effective and qualitative in testing HIV and commended NACA for the initiative.
NAN reports that Oraquick Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test had been utilised internationally for over 15 years, and it was a brand trusted by patients and practitioners alike.
The new test kit was showcased at Apo Mechanic Village, Abuja, as part of efforts to reduce the spread of HIV in Nigeria. (NAN)