Zimbabwe has approved the use of an injectable form of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) called cabotegravir to help reduce the risk of HIV in sexually active women. The injectable form is administered every two months and has been tested in clinical trials in Zimbabwe and five other Sub-Saharan African countries since 2018.
Over 3,000 women from the region, including 800 from Zimbabwe, participated in the trials. The results showed that cabotegravir was 9 times as effective as the daily pill truvadar, which is already in use for HIV prevention. Some of the women who participated in the trials reported experiencing side effects such as nausea and constipation, but these were treated and are no longer present.
The clinical trials were conducted by a team of experts from the University of Zimbabwe and its partners, and the data was reviewed by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the drug.