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NIGERIA: Investigations disprove HIV/AIDS cure claims

A two-year claim of an HIV/AIDS cure by 12 Nigerians has been been disproved by a National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) investigation, officials said on Wednesday.

The House of Representatives Committee on Health ordered the investigation in 2000 after controversy was generated by claims, by both orthodox and unorthodox medical practitioners, of an HIV/AIDS cure. Trials were subsequently conducted on 120 HIV/AIDS patients in nine centres across Nigeria.

"The safety of all substances presented by the claimants was ascertained in [tests on] two laboratory animals - rats and mice," Ufot Inyang, head of NIPRD, said while submitting his report.

"The relative increase in viral load levels after three months of treatment with each herbal preparation was greater than tenfold, showing that the agents had no effect on the virus," he added.

Inyang, however, said some of the preparations were effective against some clinical symptoms associated with HIV/AIDS and opportunistic infections, such as diarrhoea, oral thrush and rashes. He said while some patients had gained weight, others lost weight. One particular preparation was effective in lowering blood pressure.

According to the report, two prominent claimants, Jeremiah Abalaka and Jacob Abdullahi, refused to submit their preparations for investigation.

Willie Ogbeide, chairman of the House Committee, who received the report, said his committee was satisfied with the result of the investigation and would act on it.

"[Nigeria's] National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, now has the power to prosecute anybody claiming to have the cure or vaccines against HIV/AIDS," he warned.

Theme (s): Care/Treatment - PlusNews, Other,

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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