Its good news for women globally, and especially in Zimbabwe as it has been discovered that a newly found drug can protect them from contracting HIV/AIDS for two months – a longer time than the usual PrEP.
A new injectable drug called Caboteravir can now be used once in every 2 months in women after researchers in Africa discovered that the drug is almost 90% effective than the usual pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
Researchers from the HIV Prevention Trials Network announced the milestone achievement on Monday after conducting their study known as HPTN 084 on seven African countries including Zimbabwe.
The study was jointly funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and ViiV Healthcare and Gilead Sciences, Inc.
They claim that the drug is “safe and superior”, hence the urge to stop the trials as early as possible “in the interest of the public”.
“The results are incredibly important for women in Africa where lowering HIV incidence remains a priority.
We know that adherence to a daily pill continues to be challenging, and an effective injectable product such as long-acting cabotegravir is a very important additional HIV prevention option for them,” said Dr Sinead Delany-Moretlwe, a research professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg who headed the study.
Speaking on why the drug was specifically designed for women – not men, the study claims that women in Africa experience high HIV incidence than men.
Henceforth, more effective and acceptable HIV prevention choices for women are needed.
A long-lasting HIV prevention product is indeed a much better and reliable offer needed in the fight against HIV in Africa.
But so does a condom. The study researchers continue to encourage safe use of condoms for the prevention of other sexually related infections.