In the last couple of decades, many scientists have put forward discoveries claiming to have discovered the cure for AIDS unfortunately these claims have never really stood the test of time.
Nonetheless, there have been some interesting assertions in recent times with regards to finding the elusive cure for HIV in the country.
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of these and the scientists that have been involved at the centre of these claims.
HIV Cure in Nigeria: Timeline of Breakthroughs
The first on our list is Dr Jeremiah Abalaka. Dr. Abalaka is a surgeon turn immunologist. In the late 90s, he claimed to have developed an HIV vaccine which was effective in treating and preventing the HIV infection. However, he reiterated that he would only release the vaccine recipe to the Federal Government under negotiated agreement.
He also stated that he would organize a workshop with practical sessions focused on the production, storage and administration of the vaccines.
There was a lot of controversy surrounding Abalaka’s claim as many thought his discovery was the cure for HIV. But Abalaka responded by stating that his vaccine was a safe and effective alternative for the prevention and treatment of HIV, the causative agent of AIDS not a complete cure.
The story of Abalaka’s journey into finding the cure for HIV can be traced to the year 1974 when he attended a World Health Organization sponsored workshop that year in Geneva. This workshop provided the ideal platform for him to begin his innovative research. He eventually discovered the vaccine which he said was created from pure human blood.
It would be recalled that the Olusegun Obasanjo administration in 2000 suspended the use of all drugs or vaccines claimed to be used for the prevention, cure or treatment of HIV/AIDS (including Abalaka’s vaccine) until proper guidelines had been approved to assess and verify these claims.
Unfortunately, these guidelines were never put in place and Abalaka’s discovery remained in the limbo.
After Abalaka, another scientist, Maduike Ezeibe, a professor of veterinary medicine and clinical virology from the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture claimed to have discovered the cure of HIV/AIDS.
Ezeibe said that his breakthrough cure is produced with Aluminum Silicate and Magnesium Silicate (Synthetic Aluminum-Magnesium Silicate).
These minerals are not new discovery as they are already being used in the treatment of various animal and human diseases. Ezeibe had earlier used 10 volunteers living with the disease to test his claim. They were treated daily with the Medicinal Synthetic Aluminum-Magnesium Silicate (50 mg/kg). These volunteers were subjected to monthly tests for viral loads and CD4-lymphocyte counts.
Apart from the antiviral effect of these minerals, the combination can also be used to amplify the effect Ampicilin, Chloroquine, Piperazine and Sulphadimidin, among others.
Ezeibe reiterated that the results of the laboratory tests had been published in many international scientific journals such as the British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, among several others. His research has also been noticed by scientists in America. And according to him, he is collaborating with the U.S.-based Scientific Research Publishing, publishers of World Journal of AIDS, for the publication of his book “How I came about the cure for HIV/AIDS”.
This cure was patented in August 2014 in Nigeria but he is yet to secure international patency as he says he needs the Federal Government support in this regard.
Ezeibe has been quite optimistic about the prospects of the medicinal synthetic Aluminum-Magnesium Silicate which he believes can be an alternative to petroleum in the Nigerian economy.
He also claims that he presented a paper on the potential of the drug as both antiviral and raw material, at a world conference on Ethnopharmacology in Chicago, United States, on May 2, 2016. He said that more than one year after he invented and presented his findings at different international conferences, no authority anywhere in the world had disputed the research findings.
According to him, the Vice Chancellor of MOUAU, Prof. Francis Otunta and the University Senate had investigated his claims and given their approvals. In addition, the Abia Government also sponsored the publication of the book on AMS. Ezeibe claims he has no fewer than 500 HIV cases within and outside Nigeria had been referred to him which he treated which included patients from different parts of African and Asian continents.
In response to his claims, the FG authorized that the National Institute for Medical Research investigate these claims.
However, in a rejoinder signed by the head of NACA, Dr Sani Aliyu Director-General, NACA and Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, CEO Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the centre stated that the primary outcome measured in Ezeibe’s patients was based on plasma viral load levels, which are known to fluctuate in patients, even in the absence of any intervention.
NACA also claimed that virological suppression which is a situation where the viral load is less than 50 copies per ml was not achieved in 6 of 8 patients. Also, there was no medical doctor involved in the execution of this study as a result there was no evidence on where or how the patients were treated or monitored during this study. And they couldn’t verify their clinical and treatment status at the beginning or at the end of the trials.
The most reputable of these HIV cure claims seems to emanate from the University of Benin. According to Prof. Isaiah Ibeh of UNIBEN who made announcement, he stated that his laboratory was in the process of developing a new drug that could possibly cure HIV and AIDS. Prof Ibeh stated that the herbal drug has undergone series of successful tests.
The project began in 2010 and has led to the development of “Deconcotion X (DX)–Liquid or Bioclean 11 for the cure of HIV and AIDS. The toxicological analysis of this drug is quite impressive as it seems to have a large safety margin.
In the preliminary results, the five of the latest patients that were orally administered with the drugs have been under observation for seven months and three of them were siro negative while two were sill faintly positive.
So far, the cure for HIV is yet to be discovered by any Nigerian scientist however, one thing that has been lacking in the scientific community in the country is government support.
If the Federal Government can support the various HIV research centres, Nigeria might just be country where the cure to this endemic malady will come from.