No evidence HIV medications prevent, treat coronavirus – Expert

On Friday, Pharm. Hannah Ihotu Ogbago stated that there is no evidence that HIV medications can prevent or treat coronavirus (COVID-19), as some Nigerians have speculated.

Some HIV drugs, such as a combination of tenofovir and emtricitabine, are now being tested to determine if they can cure COVID-19, according to Ogbago, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

“Studies on lopinavir/ritonavir, a protease inhibitor combination, have not found it to be effective,” she said.

According to her, because there is no evidence that HIV medications can treat or prevent COVID-19, patients should speak with their health providers before changing their HIV treatment regimen.

She advised the federal government and relevant agencies to put out guidelines on treatment of HIV and COVID-19 in all facilities.

When asked if the COVID-19 vaccine would be contraindicated in HIV medications, Ogbago said the available authorised vaccines in the country had no interactions with HIV medications.

“It is not recommended that people with HIV stop their HIV medicines when they receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

“Stopping your HIV medications could put you at greater risk for HIV-related illnesses and at greater risk for serious infection due to COVID-19,” she noted.

She said people who were immunocompromised, including people with HIV, were eligible to receive the available vaccine because of the potential risk for serious illness due to COVID-19.

According to her, there is no reason to think COVID-19 vaccines will increase a person’s risk of acquiring HIV, nor are there any data to suggest that this is the case.

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