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ONGOING PROJECTS

ONGOING PROJECTS

The Action to Control HIV Epidemic through Evidence (ACHIEVE) project that we implement is funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC)

The project is currently focused in four states, Nasarawa State, Rivers State, Kastina State and the Federal Capital Territory. Click for more on ACHIEVE Project.

Strategic HIV and AIDS Response Program (SHARP) Nigeria Project

The Strategic HIV and AIDS Response Program (SHARP) Task Order 1 USAID funded project is committed to addressing HIV in Sokoto, Zamfara, Niger, Kwara and Kebbi states by providing HIV prevention, care and treatment services. The project is to run from 2020 to 2022. Click Here for more.

Strategic HIV and AIDS Response Program (SHARP) Nigeria Project

The Strategic HIV and AIDS Response Program (SHARP) Task Order 3 project is a USAID funded project addressing HIV in Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Yobe, Borno and Adamawa States Nigeria by providing HIV prevention, care and treatment services. It is run from 2020 to 2022. Click Here for more.

The USAID/Nigeria Tuberculosis Local Organization Network (TB-LON) project seeks to rapidly find and treat people infected with tuberculosis. Click for more

Gloabal Fund Public-Private Mix (PPM) Project

The focus of the Public-Private Mix Project is to engage the private sector in providing more people with tuberculosis prevention, diagnosis and treatment services. It is a novel project in Nigeria, funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and running from 2019 to 2020.

One of the targets of this project is to increase private sector contribution in finding more people needing tuberculosis treatment from 11% in 2017 to 35% in 2020. Click Here for more.

This project is aimed at upgrading the infrastructure and functions of the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) central bio-repository in Abuja to international standards.

With the grant funded by the National Institutes of Health, the IHVN Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3 Africa) biorepository (IHAB) supports H3Africa investigators in Africa to conduct high-quality genomics and translational research.

IHAB ensures well-processed, preserved and quality controlled and protected human biological samples for genomic and other bio-medical studies to address health issues and diseases in the African continent.

Principal Investigator is Prof. Alash’le Abimiku, IHVN Executive Director, International Research Center of Excellence.

For more information, contact, www.i-hab.org

IAS CIPHER CaPS Study

The Impact of Structured Caregiver Peer Support (CaPS) on ART Adherence and Viral Suppression among Children Living with HIV in Nigeria project is a two-arm cluster randomized controlled trial.

The study involves 132 children living with HIV whose HIV viral load is unsuppressed and their caregivers. Six cluster health facilities are involved in this research which will,

  • Explore facilitators and barriers to Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) adherence among young children. This will guide the development of a caregiver peer mentor training curriculum and interventional programme.
  • Test the impact of caregiver peer support in improving adherence and promoting achievement of viral suppression among children.

The intervention will target caregivers of unsuppressed children (0-10years), measuring outcomes at child level after 6, 12 and 18 months of follow up.

The intervention arm will receive structured caregiver-to-caregiver peer support while the control arm will receive routine standard of care with no such support.

(LABORATORY SAFETY SCIENCE AND INNOVATION PROJECT)

We are a member of the PhArmacoVigilance Africa (PAVIA) consortium aimed at strengthening pharmacovigilance in four African countries namely Ethiopia, Nigeria, Swaziland and Tanzania. The consortium is funded by the European Developing Countries Clinical Trial Images Partnership (EDCTP).

To improve pharmacovigilance, the project is strengthening routine reporting of drug adverse events amongst other activities. We will also be carrying out research, training health care workers across the country on pharmacovigilance, and developing necessary guidelines.

The D2EFT study is a phase IIIB/IV randomised open-label trial to compare dolutegravir with pharmaco-enhanced darunavir versus dolutegravir with predetermined nucleosides versus recommended standard of care antiretroviral regimens in patients with HIV-1 infection who have failed recommended first line therapy.

The major aim of this study is to find the best 2nd line regimen, among the current range of drugs used in our environment that would have maximal benefit for most patients who have failed first line HIV 1 drugs.

This is without the infrastructure of drug sensitivity testing in a resource constrained environment. Its emphasis is finding a regimen that will fulfil criteria including:

  • Efficacy at significantly reducing viral load
  • Encouraging adherence due to a lower incidence of drug toxicity, drug to drug interactions or other adverse events,
  • Improving participant quality of life

The D2EFT study is designed to support HIV treatment in the sub-Saharan African context and will provide knowledge to significantly improve treatment outcomes and change the current strategy for managing patients who have failed 1st line HIV treatment.

This study is a cluster randomized trial of innovative interventions targeting challenges of adolescents in transitioning from the pediatric treatment to the adult treatment program. Specific aims are to,

  • Inform strategies for transitioning services in resource-limited settings
  • Examine developmental, clinical and other factors for successful transition
  • Gain insight on implementation barriers among African adolescents to inform targets for structured intervention.

ADAPT Study is an NIH R01 five-year study (2016-2021) conducted in central and Northern Nigeria at selected health facilities that we support with funding from US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through CDC.

Building TRUST Study is a follow-on study to the TRUST study. TRUST study, an implementation science research grant, uncovered high-risk men who have sex with men (MSM) with a high HIV prevalence (44%) and low uptake of clinical care and treatment. These men also have low levels of disclosure of HIV and/or sexual orientation, high incidence rates of both HIV infection (13.9 per 100 person- years) and sexually transmitted infections (STI) (gonorrhea and chlamydia).

Building TRUST study suggests that there are interventions to address interpersonal, network and structural barriers to HIV treatment and prevention. It is framed in the 2014 WHO Consolidated Guidelines on HIV Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment and Care for Key Populations.  The aims the study include, investigating the impact of introducing Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and characterizing HIV transmission networks within the MSM community. This is to lead to interventions to prevent HIV transmission.

The goal of the Impact of Non-B HIV-1 Subtype on second-line Protease Inhibitor Regimens in Africa (INSPIRE) project is to identify factors that predict virological failure among patients with Protease Inhibitor (PI) containing regimens. These patients however, have no resistance using the conventional drug resistance testing assay, and are infected with wide range of HIV subtypes in Cameroon, Uganda, South Africa and Nigeria.  Findings from this study will provide further understanding on resistance to HIV drugs and inform National and International HIV/AIDS Treatment Guidelines.

Collaborators:  Miguel E. Quiñones-Mateu, Ph.D. Professor, Webster Family Chair in Viral Pathogenesis, Associate Dean Research, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, School of Biomedical Sciences

University of Otago, New Zealand

Bob Shafer, MD Division Infectious Diseases, Department Medicine, Stanford University, US

Eric O. Freed, PhD HIV Dynamics and Replication Program, NIH/NCI

This study examines awareness about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and willingness to use it among Men who have Sex with Men (MSM). The study, which is part of the PEPFAR Nigeria program to expand use of PrEP, has run from March 2017 till date.

Findings so far have shown that, prior discussion with healthcare workers about PrEP was significantly associated with increased PrEP awareness. Having a larger sexual network was associated with decreased PrEP awareness.  Also, feeling ashamed/embarrassed to use PrEP was associated with decreased willingness to use it. Most MSM in this cohort had no prior knowledge of PrEP. Perceived stigma associated with PrEP use may impact its uptake within this vulnerable community. Efforts, potentially through network interventions, are needed to educate and destigmatize PrEP use to reduce HIV transmission.

The study is a sub-agreement between ICAP at Columbia University and IHVN to provide technical assistance to Ministries of Health (MOH) to establish a Tracking with Recency Assays to Control the Epidemic (TRACE) program. The ICAP/IHVN TRACE program will monitor HIV epidemic trends, inform rapid programmatic responses at state, local and individual levels in FCT and Rivers State, and accelerate progress towards HIV epidemic control. The project will scale up the use of rapid recency assays at HIV testing sites. It will build data systems to capture recency data to characterize emerging hotspots and help target prevention interventions.

IHVN and ICAP will work as partners in the implementation of recency testing in select 15 health facilities sites in FCT and 31 in Rivers States in Nigeria. This is to involve conducting trainings for TRACE protocol procedures, ensuring laboratory quality control and successful data capture, reporting and monitoring of key recency indicators, and using data to inform program response.

Study Principal Investigator is Dr. Anthony Okwuosah.

The University of Maryland – Institute of Human Virology AIDS International Training and Research Program (UM-IHV AITRP) is instituting a refined research training strategy to build a critical mass of institutional and individual research capacity. Through a “mentor-the-mentor” program, a research training team consisting of a US faculty expert, one or more Nigerian Faculty Mentor and a highly selected trainee participates in research training. The team approach ensures that participating institutions are committed, the capacity of faculty is built and internationally trained research investigators work with their local research institutions.

Principal Investigator of Project is Dr. Patrick Dakum

This study plans to identify, and characterize the burden of Non-Communicable Diseases among clients newly diagnosed with HIV while capturing the risk factors that individuals may be exposed to. Study objectives are;

  1. To measure the prevalence and incidence of non-communicable disease such as hypertension, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases among a cohort of clients diagnosed with HIV.
  2. To characterize and explore clinical, behavioral and psychosocial risk factors of non-communicable diseases among HIV positive clients.
  • To assess participants retention rates and willingness to participate in future HIV prevention and cure research

The study is funded by ISN Products Nigeria Ltd with Professor Alash’le Abimiku as Principal Investigator.

African Collaborative Center for Microbiome and Genomics Research (ACCME)

The African Collaborative Center for Microbiome and Genomics Research (ACCME) is a multi-institutional collaborative research funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH). It is a project that is being conducted to develop a better understanding of cervical cancer and the processes involved in the development of the disease. There are several members of this project and they are affiliated with different institutions. Click Here for more.

The FLEMING Fund is a UKaid Department of Health and Social Care programme helping to tackle anti-microbial resistance (AMR) in low- and medium-income countries around the world.

As part of the DAI Consortium, IHVN is providing technical support in the area of human health. Activities include carrying out needs assessment, biosafety/security assessment, and renovation of eighteen laboratories involved in the project.

The project is to strengthen systems for AMR surveillance across human, animal and environmental health sectors as part of One Health.

This study is to carry out analyses of dried blood spot specimens collected during the Nigeria AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS). NAIIS is one of the largest household surveys ever conducted with over 200,000 respondents. Dried blood spots were collected from more than 205,000 individuals who gave their consent for storage and further testing of these specimens. The study will analyse these specimens using a multiplex bead-based laboratory assay. The multiplex laboratory enables testing for antibody presence for multiple diseases including malaria, vaccine-preventable diseases, neglected tropical diseases, and others in a single test run.

This study is to augment national disease surveillance by supporting the Government of Nigeria to conduct serologic surveillance using specimens stored with consent in the Nigeria Centers for Disease Control (NCDC) National Reference Laboratory sample storage repository. It will also address key knowledge gaps regarding the burden and risk of malaria, vaccine preventable diseases and other diseases of public health importance.

Study objectives include

  • Estimate prevalence of malaria in Nigeria to monitor and accelerate procress towards disease control goals
  • Estimate sero-prevalence of multiple vaccine preventable diseases in Nigeria to monitor process towards accelerated disease control goals, and identify immunity gaps.
  • Estimate seroprevalence of other diseases of public health importance in Nigeria to monitor process towards disease control goals.

Study Principal Investigator is Dr. Sam Peters.

The BEAMING Study is researching into how breast milk affects infant’s gut bacteria and how this in turn affects infant’s growth and their ability to respond to childhood vaccination. This effect will be studied in HIV exposed uninfected children and the results compared with HIV uninfected unexposed children.

It is an NIH funded study that will utilize stored samples from HIV-Exposed Infants in a previous study, the Infant Study.

This study seeks to evaluate the prevalence of malaria parasitemia among blood donors donating blood to children 0-10 years in Abuja, Nigeria. It is funded by the International Society for Blood Transfusion.

This study conducts rigorous research into breast cancer and its molecular subtypes in indigenous population of Nigeria, in order to understand the epidemiological and genomic determinants of the incidence of breast cancer, its molecular subtypes, and the role of diet in etiology of breast cancer in Nigeria.

The TRACING study is a prospective cohort study that is made up of two components. The first component seeks to train health care workers on tuberculosis infection control practices, assess the level of infection control, and measure the output of these trainings. The second component of the study seeks to measure the risk of tuberculosis infections among health care workers.

Aim of the study is to provide evidence to strengthen TB infection control mechanism, and develop policies relevant for protecting health workers.

It is being implemented in at least 14 health facilities across the Federal Capital Territory and Nasarawa States. Facilities were selected based on the availability of HIV and TB services, and the number of patients accessing care in these facilities.

The project uses the Oxford Nanopore, a USB-sized, portable sequencing instrument, to develop a diagnostic assay. This assay rapidly diagnoses patients with acute febrile illness by screening for all potential pathogens in under two hours.

The goal of this five year project is implementation of a field-ready, real-time sequencing assay for unbiased pathogen diagnosis of acute febrile illness using metagenomic nanopore sequencing.

This project is a partnership between Africa Centers for Disease Control and Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL) initiative which is part of Vital Strategies. The initiative is aimed at improving the capacity and preparedness of Low-and Medium-Income countries to prevent disease outbreaks.

We are a sub-grantee to Vital Strategies in this project. Our mandate is to strengthen and expand existing national and regional laboratory systems and networks. In collaboration with the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, we are building the capacity of six yellow fever network laboratories as part of fostering national ownership of the process.

These laboratories are; National Reference Laboratory Gaduwa, Abuja, Central Public Health Laboratory, Lagos; Maitama District Hospital, Abuja; Yusuf Dantsoho Hospital, Kaduna; University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu and University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin.

This study, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is an effort to scale up capacity for integrated sero-surveillance in Africa using stored samples from Nigeria’s HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS). The objectives of this study are,

  1. Support the Multiplex Bead Assay (MBA) laboratory at the Nigeria Centers for Disease Control (NCDC) National Reference Laboratory (NRL) to test stored NAIIS specimens and to collect, store and analyse results.
  2. Support technical assistance and capacity building efforts on the MBA technology, and develop a set of tools to assist other countries embarking on integrated surveillance.
  • Support dissemination of results and availability of data to inform public health programming in Nigeria.

The objective of this project is to characterize and compare the oral microbiomes in HIV infected, HIV exposed but uninfected, and HIV unexposed and uninfected children. The team at the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) with support from the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) and oversight from the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) are responsible for the implementation of the clinical aspect of the study.

The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership (EDCTP)-Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) Clinical Research and Development Fellowship is a 21-month fellowship program. It is aimed at strengthening the overall capacity of fellows to conduct Clinical Research Implementation including clinical trial studies. The program is structured into three main components: preparatory, training and re-integration phases. The training phase requires that fellows spend 12 months at a European host Institution and thereafter return to their home Institutions for a re-integration phase to build further capacity. For this fellowship, Dr. James Onyemata spent 12 months at the European Vaccine Initiative (EVI). EVI is a not-for profit organisation based in Heidelberg, Germany, and plays a leading role towards the establishment of effective, accessible and affordable vaccines against neglected and tropical diseases.

This Positive Peer-to-Peer (3P) US National Institutes of Health (NIH) study on Adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) in Nigeria will enable partnership with 16 health facilities with high proportions ALHIV. It will examine the effectiveness and impact of using a WhatsApp® group to deliver structured, on-demand continuing education and real time mentoring for ALHIV peer educators in Nigeria.

Our pilot study revealed that a WhatsApp® platform could be a readily accessible, cost-efficient, complementary medium for mentoring and educating adolescent lay workers in clinics and communities. This is because they provide psychosocial support and linkages for their peers and families. This grant will expand the access of adolescents to the group and help to overcome sociocultural, geographic and security barriers associated with traditional face-to-face or telephone mentoring in Nigeria.

Study Principal Investigator is Dr. Emilia Iwu.

The study aims to support the establishment of HIV-1 recent infection surveillance using the Rapid Test for Recent Infection (RTRI) in Nigeria.  RTRI will be used to provide continuous epidemiological data on person, geographical location, and time of newly diagnosed individuals to inform HIV prevention and control strategies in Nigeria.

The RTRI will be introduced into routine HIV testing services (HTS) as a supplementary test for clients who are positive on the Determine Test as part of the National Testing Algorithm. Those who are RTRI recent will additionally receive a viral load test to confirm their recent infection status. The initial phase will cover 135 health facilities in five states, including Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos, Benue, Akwa Ibom, and Rivers states. The second phase will be a scale-up to additional 40 health facilities across three states including Cross River, Enugu and Nasarawa States.

Study Principal Investigator is Dr. Anthony Okwuosah.