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Ongoing Projects/Programs

Ongoing Projects/Programs

ASPIRE Project

The ACTION to Sustain Precision and Integrated HIV Response towards Epidemic Control (ASPIRE) 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. It is aimed at

  • Reducing mortality of people living with HIV (PLHIV) by providing services for them to know their HIV status and be linked to quality sustained treatment.
  • Improving the quality of life of people living with HIV: 95% of clients identified are to be linked to treatment, be virally suppressed and reduce further transmission including elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
  • Increasing uptake of prevention services including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis by those at risk especially key population and underserved groups such as adolescents.
  • Strengthening laboratory capacity to achieve quality clinical management for HIV and other health challenges.
  • Empowering quality health care and sustainable culture of excellence in the management of HIV through Continuous Quality Improvement.
  • Strengthening the capacity of the Government of Nigeria for a sustainable HIV program: flowing out of a strengthened health care enterprise is the capacity of the Government of Nigeria to embrace a sustainability plan for leadership, governance, and informed investment in HIV programs.

ASPIRE  project provides the following services in the health facilities we support: HIV Testing Services (HTS), laboratory diagnosis and tracking of status of people living with HIV, prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, Anti-retroviral Treatment (ART) for adult and children (including pregnant women), care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS and people affected by HIV/AIDS, monitoring and evaluation of patients and program progress, support to Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), gender-Based Violence (GBV) support services and training in all the above areas.

ASPIRE project is follow on project to ACHIEVE (2017-2022), ACTIONPlusUp (2012 -2017), ACTIONPlus (2010-2012) and AIDS Care and Treatment in Nigeria (ACTION) projects (2004 to 2010).

Improving Nigeria’s Capacity to Use Data on Registered Stillbirths for Decision-making & Planning (SPEED Project)

The Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health (D4H) Initiatives Global Grants Program has sub-awarded the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria – International Research Centre for Excellence (IHVN-IRCE), to implement the SPEED Project; a 15-month project aimed at using Nigeria’s stillbirths’ data to influence decision-making. Click here to learn more

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

PrEP is a pill that is taken once a day and helps prevent HIV infection.

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Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Grant Cycle 7 (GC7) Project

The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN), funded by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, is set to implement the Grant Cycle 7 (GC7) grant. This combined effort for tuberculosis (TB) and HIV is pivotal for the transformation of TB and HIV programs. Under the guidance of the National AIDS and STDs Control Programme (NASCP), the National TB and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP), and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), this project aims to increase the identification of all forms of TB in both the private sector and the community.

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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


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.

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.

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.

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.

The Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRiN) project aims at increasing access and utilization of basic nutrition services for pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls and children under five years of age. ANRiN, which is supported by the World Bank (International Development Association and Global Financing Facility), is being implemented in 12 states representing the six geographical zones of Nigeria.

As of 16th of October 2023, the project provided 576,179 children under five years and 169, 468 pregnant, lactating women as well as adolescent mothers with nutrition services.

Institute of Human Virology Nigeria is implementing the ANRiN project in nine Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Kano state. These are, Nasarawa, Kano Municipal, Fagge, Gwale, Tarauni, Kumbostso, Dala, Bunkure and Wudil.

The objectives of the project which commenced in May 2021 are,

  • Improve knowledge of mothers/care-givers of children 0-23 months of age on improved behaviors related to maternal, infant and young child feeding, notably early, exclusive and continued breastfeeding, appropriate complementary feeding, and early stimulation
  • Improve quality of complementary feeding by providing fifteen sachets of micronutrient powders bi-monthly for children 6-23 months
  • Provide at least 90 iron-folic acid (IFA) tablets per pregnant women by specifically addressing barriers that inhibit women from taking a full course of IFA tablets during pregnancy through counseling during ante-natal care sessions
  • Provide at least three doses of intermittent preventive treatment for malaria during ante-natal care per pregnant woman
  • Distribute at least four sachets of zinc/oral rehydration solution (ORS) per year for treatment of diarrhea among children 6-59 months of age
  • Semi-annual vitamin A supplementation among children 6-59 months of age.

Semi-annual deworming among children 12-59 months of age.

The Vaccination for Recovered In-patients with COVID-19 (VATICO) study is a phase 4 open-label trial which will be

  • Investigating the difference in antibody level to mRNA (Moderna or the Pfizer BioNTech) in study participants vaccinated early vs. those vaccinated later.
  • Estimating the difference in antibody level in patients vaccinated once vs. those vaccinated twice.

Findings from the VATICO study will be useful in determining the usefulness of vaccination in people who have recovered from COVID-19 considering that they would have acquired immunity from the infection. The study will also provide scientific evidence to inform vaccination guidelines for patients who recover from COVID 19 infection.

It will enroll patients under the ACTIV-3/TICO parent study who receive investigational drugs and have achieved sustained recovery from the COVID-19 infection.

The VATICO study will be implemented in collaboration with the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada (UATH).  Dr. Eriobu Nnakelu is the Nigerian Principal Investigator while Drs. Vivian Kwaghe and Habid Zaiyad are co-investigators.

Study duration is from 16 to 24 months and funding for the study is from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

EXPAND Project

Expanding the Pool of Independent Investigators in Implementation Science in Nigeria through HIV Research training – EXPAND Nigeria: Fogarty HIV Research Training Program for Low-and Middle-Income Country Institutions (EXPAND)

EXPAND Nigeria seeks to increase local expertise in responding to Nigeria’s HIV epidemic by addressing research leadership gaps among investigators, program evaluation and knowledge translation gaps among implementers and policymakers.

The study aims are:

Aim 1: To launch a 12-month, soft and hard skills Implementation Science-integrated HIV research training curriculum at the International Research Center of Excellence of the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, delivered on a hybrid virtual and in-person platform.

Aim 2: To mentor and develop a cohort of five early career MD and/or PhD scientists trained with the Aim 1 curriculum, to compete for independent research funding that addresses HIV research priorities relevant to Nigeria.

Aim 3: To transition skilled early career investigators from Aim 2 into active and productive research positions at the International Research Center of Excellence of the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria and collaborating academic and public health institutions in Nigeria.

Aim 4: Using the hard skills modules from the Aim 1 curriculum, provide short-term, six-month training for a multidisciplinary cohort of 40 program implementers and policymakers to design and conduct IS-informed priority HIV program evaluations and translate evidence into policy and practice.

The project, which is funded by the US National Institutes of Health,  runs from 2022 to 2027.


The Role of Data Streams in Informing Infection Dynamics in Africa (INFORM Africa) is aimed at establishing data streams from public and private sectors to understand the multi-layer interactions that may explain the dynamics and impact of COVID19 pandemic. This is to be achievement through three proposed research projects and two proposed cores, supplemented by the pilot projects.

Project objectives include:

  • Development of geospatial tools for use by country leadership and governments in pandemic surveillance and response to improve preparedness.
  • Expansion of data science research opportunities and capacity through the engagement with the broader Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa (DS-I-Africa) and through several proposed pilot projects in data science.
  • Maintenance of sustained engagement with the policy makers and governments to promote further open access to high quality data, redistribution and uptake of any product/tool developed by the INFORM Africa.

Study countries are, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia and the duration of study is from 2022 to 2026.

TRiAD Study

Triage Test for All Oral DR-TB Regimen (TRiAD) study is a non-randomized interventional phase 4 (clinical access protocol) implementation science study. It is to evaluate the effectiveness, operational feasibility, acceptability, and cost-effectiveness of implementing the Xpert MTB/XDR assay for rapid triage and selection of all oral regimens for Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis.

The project study facilities are in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kano and Kaduna states. The study is funded by EDCTP with Dr, Kogieleum Naidoo and Prof. Alash’le Abimiku as Principal Investigators.

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 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 Therapeutics for Inpatients with COVID-19 (TICO) study is a follow up on the In-patient Treatment with Anti-Coronavirus Immunoglobulin (ITAC) study, which was also implemented by the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN). TICO is a master protocol to evaluate the safety and efficacy of multiple drugs aimed at modifying the human immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, or directly improving viral control in order to limit disease progression.

TICO is a randomized, blinded, controlled study which allows multiple drugs to be tested during the course of the study. This allows for efficient testing of new drugs against placebo and standard of care (SOC) treatment within the same study. An independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) will regularly review interim analyses and summarize safety and efficacy results to delineate which drug(s) are beneficial for the treatment of COVID 19 symptomatic disease.

The primary aim of this study is to evaluate patients who experience sustained recovery from the time after receiving the investigational drug. This study is being implemented in Africa by the International Research Center of Excellence of the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria collaborating with the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada (UATH) and the Nigerian COVID-19 Research Consortium (NCRC). TICO is funded by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) with the National PI as Dr Eriobu Nnakelu.C.

Ensuring Quality Access and Learning for Mothers and Newborns in Conflict-Affected Contexts (EQUAL) is a multi-country research project aimed at improving maternal and newborn health in conflict-affected countries.

Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) is participating in this research which is funded by UK Aid from the UK government and led by the International Rescue Committee. Other EQUAL partners are Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and its university-wide Center for Humanitarian Health, the Somali Research and Development Institute, and Université Catholique de Bukavu (Democratic Republic of Congo).

The project is aimed at identifying and filling evidence gaps that could ultimately improve policies, programming, and outcomes for mothers and newborns. It will focus its research around the day of birth and the first week of life — the timeframe with the highest number of newborn deaths globally.

In Nigeria, IHVN is conducting a five-year assessment of the recently implemented Community Midwifery program to examine the effectiveness of midwives in addressing gaps in maternal and neonatal health within rural communities of Yobe State. Of particular interest are factors affecting the midwifery workforce, participation, retention, performance, and personal resilience during periods of increased insecurity

The project is in collaboration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, the Government of Yobe State and Faculty of Shehu Sule College of Nursing and Midwifery