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Viruses 2010, 2(1), 73-77; doi:10.3390/v2010073

Preliminary Report on HIV-1 Vaccine Preparedness in Nigeria: Advantages of Recruiting University Students

1 Laboratory of Leishmaniasis and AIDS, Department of Zoology, University of Jos, P.M.B 2084, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria 2 School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA 3 Plateau State Human Virology Research Center (PLASVIREC), Plateau State Specialist Hospital, Jos, Nigeria 4 Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Jos, P.M.B 2084 Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria 5 Department of Chemical Pathoglogy, University of Jos, P.M.B 2084 Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria 6 Institute of Education, University of Jos, P.M.B 2084 Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria 7 Division of Epidemiology and Prevention, Institute of Human Virology, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA Current address: P11 HIV-Variabilität und molekulare Epidemiologie, Robert Koch-Institut, Nordufer 20, 13353 Berlin, Germany. Current address: Innovative Biotech Nig. Ltd., GRA Keffi, Nassarawa State, Nigeria. § Current address: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Global AIDS Program, Beijing 100600, China. || Current address: Centers for Disease Control, Central Business District, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria. Current address: National Agency for Control of AIDS, Plot 823 Ralph Sodeinde Street, Central Business District, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 October 2009 / Revised: 26 December 2009 / Accepted: 6 January 2010 / Published: 11 January 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue AIDS Vaccine)
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The national HIV seroprevalence in Nigeria has risen steeply from about 3% in 1993 to 5-8% in 2001 and now stands at 4.4%. HIV epidemic continues to be a serious threat to the most populous country in Africa with a population of 140 million, with limited use of antiviral drugs that is taken for life since it only suppresses the virus without completely eliminating the virus or leading to cure. Only a change in social behavior and an affordable vaccine can halt the epidemic in Africa. We report here results of a pilot study on the recruitment strategies, sociodemographic aspects and HIV risk behavior of a cohort of normal volunteers recruited at the University of Jos, Nigeria. Our study recorded a high degree of interest and zeal to participate in HIV vaccine studies by volunteers, and demonstrated the superiority of snowballing over invitation by mail, as a recruitment strategy. A cohort of university students may be particularly suitable for conducting HIV vaccine trials because of the assurance of prospective follow-up for up to four years (time to graduation), and a good understanding of the risks and benefits of participation as outlined in the informed consent. We had 100% retention during a follow-up period of two years. Most importantly, the cohort reflected a relatively low HIV seroprevalence, which gives preventive programs the potential to blunt or halt the epidemic.
Keywords: Nigeria; HIV; vaccine; recruitment; strategies Nigeria; HIV; vaccine; recruitment; strategies
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Edubio, A.; Agwale, S.; Bulterys, M.; Jelpe, D.; Idoko, J.; Isichei, C.; Guyit, R.; Abimiku, A. Preliminary Report on HIV-1 Vaccine Preparedness in Nigeria: Advantages of Recruiting University Students. Viruses 2010, 2, 73-77.

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