Zimbabwe becomes first African country to approve injectable HIV prevention drug

October 19, 2022
| Report Focus News

The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe on Monday announced the approval of the use of long-acting injectable cabotegravir (CAB-LA) as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention, a first for Africa.

Zimbabwe has become the first country in Africa to approve a long-acting injectable drug that prevents HIV transmission.

The first two injections of Cabotegraviror CAB-LA are administered four weeks apart, followed by an injection every eight weeks.

The drug has received regulatory approval in two other countries, the US and Australia.

Zimbabwe will begin rolling out the drug after regulators approved its use. The authorities say it will provide a crucial layer of protection for risk groups.

Large-scale studies of the drug showed a 79% reduction in HIV risk compared with oral pre-exposure prophylaxis, according to the World Health Organisation.

Zimbabwe approved a long-acting HIV-preventative vaginal ring earlier this year.

While African countries have dramatically reduced the number of new HIV infections, adolescent girls and young women remain at risk accounting for 63% of new infections last year.