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NASCP backs use of OraQuick self-test kit for HIV

The National AIDS and STDs Control Programme (NASCP), an agency under the Federal Ministry of Health has backed the use of OraQuick a self-test kit for HIV already being used in over 50 countries.

The kit is certified by WHO, the United States Food and Drug Administration and Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.

According to NASCP the kit was recently evaluated by the Federal Ministry of Health across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria in line with national guidelines to assess the efficacy of the test kit for use in Nigeria. the evaluation showed 98.4 percent specificity and sensitivity to detect HIV antibodies I and II among Nigerians.

“This, therefore, affirms greater confidentiality and privacy from individuals who will purchase the easy-to-use, pocket-friendly diagnostic kit from a designated outlet. The self-run test can be done in the privacy of one’s home or other desired locations, without the knowledge of anyone,” said Godwin Emmanuel, Organiser of NASCP.

Emmanuel noted that a lot of people living with HIV in Nigeria were not aware of their status and that the country still had a long way to go as regards meeting the recommended number of HIV testing centres and counselling sites needed. He added that the HIV self-test had been identified as one that would contribute to the attainment of the UNAIDS global 95-95-95 goals. This implies that 95 per cent of people living with HIV should know their status, 95 per cent of people who know their status should access treatment, and 95 per cent of people on treatment should achieve suppressed viral loads.

The OraQuick self-test kit affords people the confidentiality needed to carry out the test, especially if they are anxious about going to a hospital or a public test centres.

 

For the test, no blood is required. One only needs to put saliva on the palette and in a matter of minutes, the person’s status becomes visible. The result of the test is guaranteed, as it is being used in other countries in the world. It is relatively easy and simple to use and has been designed to be affordable to everyone regardless of social class.

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