Zimbabwe has become the first African country to approve the use of long-acting injectable, Cabotegravir (CAB-LA), a pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep) dose for HIV prevention.
The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) on Monday announced the approval of the use of the drug.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “CAB-LA may be offered to people at substantial risk of HIV acquisition as part of comprehensive HIV prevention approaches”.
CAB-LA injections are to be taken every two months and studies have shown that they are highly effective in reducing the risk of HIV acquisition among homosexual men, transgender, and cisgender women.
Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) executive director Itai Rusike applauded the move to approve the use of the drug in Zimbabwe. He said:
Prep dramatically reduces the risk of HIV acquisition for women as well as men.
We are aware that for more than a decade, WHO has recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women at risk of HIV should be offered Prep.
The people of Zimbabwe should embrace this new development in order to reduce the risk of HIV infection.
Development Agenda for Girls and Women in Africa Network representative Nyasha Sithole said “this will contribute to our basket of HIV prevention tools that work for us as girls and women in Zimbabwe”. | NewsDay