New HIV prevention injection now accessible to some South Africans

HIV testing
Reading Time: < 1 minute

A new HIV prevention injection is now accessible to some South Africans as part of a pilot project.

It provides protection for two months.

The injection contains a long-acting formulation of the antiretroviral drug, cabotegravir.

This drug was shown to be effective almost three years ago, and it was initially shown to be 66% effective in preventing HIV infections in gay men in the US and other countries.

Professor of Global Health in epidemiology at Caprisa Salim Abdool Karim, says “We are still seeing about 1,3 million new infections worldwide and about half of all of those infections continue to occur in sub-Saharan Africa. So, there’s no question (that) we desperately need to do better in terms of prevention. And one of the ways to do better is to use pre-exposure prophylaxis. And what does that mean? It’s basically where you take a medication like an anti-retroviral, and you’ll take it while you still don’t have HIV. So, that if you ever are exposed, it will prevent you from getting infection.”

Zero Discrimination Day | Head of Human Rights UNAIDS Umunyana Rugege weighs in: