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”The targets to end AIDS stipulates that 90 per cent of persons living with HIV would know their status by 2020 and 90 per cent of those diagnosed with HIV would receive antiretroviral therapy and 90 per cent of those receiving treatment would be virally suppressed.

Moma-Efretuei said that this imitative would form the bedrock on which future interventions would lie.

The FCT Regional Manager, Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, Dr Olayemi Olupitan, urged the Nigerian government to intensify efforts and awareness on HIV testing and treatment.

Olupitan added that UNAIDS had reached advanced stage in its trategy to end AIDS epidemic by 2030 in Nigeria

She added that the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, was collaborating with the National Assembly and Methodist Church to provide free medical services to the residents of Karimajiji IDPs.

The Chairman, Karimajiji IDP camp, Mohammed Abubarka, called on the Federal Government to support the IDPs to return to their homes.

Abubarka said that the suffering was too much and it would be appreciated if they could go back home.

”We want to go back home, we want to go back to farming and working, there is no place like home, we are not happy here.

”We have no food, hospital or school, we are suffering and we need help, we have been here for over three years,” he said.


AveXis’s gene therapy is meant to be a one-time treatment, infused into a vein during a 60-minute procedure. It uses an engineered virus to deliver healthy copies of the SMN1 gene to cells throughout the body. Once there, the new gene starts making a protein that’s essential for the survival of motor neurons.

If you wait, however, “the children have limited motor neurons for the gene therapy to get into and work effectively,” says Sukumar Nagendran, AveXis’s chief medical officer.

On average, the 15 children in the AveXis trial received the gene therapy four months after birth. They all responded, but Nagendran says two children who got it within the first two months of life had the most dramatic improvement; they’re now able to walk independently.

In April, AveXis began a new study, this time treating babies immediately after birth. The results will be able to tell researchers just how much better patients fare when they get the drug as newborns.

Other gene therapies may also work better in children before a genetic defect has time to irreparably damage the body. For example, Bluebird Bio is developing one that halted a deadly brain disorder called cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), also known as Lorenzo’s Oil disease, in 15 out of 17 children. In a statement provided to MIT Technology Review, the company said outcomes are better when patients are treated before symptoms appear.

State by state

On February 8, a national committee that oversees newborn testing voted to recommend that SMA be added to the recommended universal screening panel. The next step is for the secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, to sign off.

Even then, rolling out SMA screening for every newborn isn’t a done deal. A recommendation put forth by the committee is just that—a recommendation. It’s only binding in two states, California and Florida. Other states may choose to adopt the proposal or not.


“It was really scary – I would have to stop and sit down because I was so underweight.

“Doing even the smallest amount of exercise would put my body under too much pressure. There were times I couldn’t even walk.”

June 2 @ 8:00 am - June 3 @ 5:00 pm