HIV: Scientists at Michael Okpara University make breakthrough

A group of Nigerian scientists have found what could be a novel treatment for Human Immune-deficiency Virus, HIV, infection that may slash the cost of treatment.

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The team of scientists, including graduate students and researchers from the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia state, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Nigeria have been able to show that synthetic Aluminum-magnesium silicate (AMS) has antiretroviral effects that could lay a perfect track for affordable and effective therapy for HIV.

Results of their work titled “Assessment of Antiretroviral Effects of a Synthetic Aluminum-magnesium Silicate” published in the British Journal of Medicine & Medical Research and featured on SCIENCEDOMAIN international shows a significant reduction in the titres of the virus when HIV positive plasma was incubated with AMS.

Head, Department of Veterinary Medicine at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, and the lead scientist, Professor Maduike Ezeibe, said the discovery could provide an ultimate cure for the virus that has defiled so many scientific efforts to curtail it in the past.

Ezeibe reacted aluminium silicate with magnesium silicate to obtain the synthetic aluminum-magnesium silicate devoid of impurities.

Giving further details Ezeibe noted: “Molecules of aluminum-magnesium silicate have platelets that possess both negative and positive electrical charges on their surfaces and their edges. HIV on the other hand is negatively charged. So the simple scientific understanding that opposite charges attracts ensures that the HIV virus binds to the AMS and is discharged from the body alongside.”

“AMS is normally used as a stabilizing medicine that does not really have toxic effect on the patient, so it makes it a suitable agent for mopping up HIV virus from the body,” he said.

The author noted also that “Absorbing out HIV means that millions of new virions usually released from each infected cell would be inhibited from establishing new infections in more cells,” adding, ”

Thus, HIV would be prevented from overwhelming the body immune systems and the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) stage may be prevented, in which case cure could be achieved, Ezeibe said.

Boko Haram kidnapped the 230 school girls as wives for its insurgents

A member of the House of Representatives, Mohammed Tahir Monguno, has said the over 230 abducted school girls taken from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State were taken as wives for Boko Haram insurgents.

Originally published on: Apr 29, 2014
Last Updated on: Jul 29, 2015

Monguno,  who represents Chibok in the House of Representatives,  said the abducted girls are being forcefully married in an area called Jiri, Mafa Local Government of Borno State.

He said he learnt from members of his constituents from the Chibok Local Government area that no sooner the girls were abducted, they were forced into marriages with insurgents.

The lawmaker, according to 360nobs.com,  told the Voice of America (VOA) that   ‘villagers saw them (the Boko Haram Islamist terrorists) and the whole world knew that the very day they were abducted, some of them were married out in one area called Jiri, Mafa Local government area.”

He added, “It was there that some of them were married before they moved with the rest. It is about 30 kilometres from there to Maiduguri on a tarred road. Everybody knows this. The security people know too. It is not that people are not cooperating, they are giving information and nothing is done.”

‘These girls were abducted in Chibok, but yesterday, my constituents called and said that they saw them in one area called Shuwaram. From Chibok to my constituency is about 200 kilometres. How can they be carrying the girls for about 200 kilometres without security detection? That is why we are saying that if government wants to succeed, it must stand up and it is not about deploying military alone, but giving them motivation.”

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