A new injection, which was developed by ViiV Healthcare, has been approved by the U.S. health authority to give protection against HIV, UN News reported. The injection’s main active ingredient is cabotegravir, which will help to offer two months of HIV protection. “But we need urgent action to ensure people everywhere can benefit,” Philippe Duneton, UNITAID executive director said.
The injection works like other HIV medications. It stops the virus from replicating. But instead of a pill that needs to be taken every day, it is an injection that lasts for two months. “Long-acting PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) could have a game-changing impact, improving choice and making HIV prevention a more viable option for more people, UNITAID spokesperson Herve Verhoosel said, UN News reported.
The only issue with the injection is that it comes with a high cost, which could prevent it from being used in nations that cannot afford it. In many areas around the world, HIV is criminalized, which can make it harder to receive treatment. But UNAIDS recently acknowledged Zimbabwe for decriminalizing HIV. “Public health goals are not served by denying people their individual rights and I commend Zimbabwe for taking this hugely important step,” Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS executive director, said, UN News reported. “This decision strengthens the HIV response in Zimbabwe by reducing the stigma and discrimination that too often prevents vulnerable groups of people from receiving HIV prevention, care, and treatment services.” To help with the decriminalization of HIV, President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe will likely be signing a new marriage law for the country, which has already been adopted by Parliament.
Zimbabwe is one country that has made tremendous progress with HIV and decriminalization over the past decade. Many people who live in the country who also have HIV are also on medications to help treat the disease and save their lives. Brazil is another country that is struggling with HIV. However, the new injection medication could change things for the country. Right now, UNITAID is supporting the injections in transgender communities in Brazil. However, the target popular is young women and adolescent girls, who have a “disproportionately high rate” of getting HIV. “In sub-Saharan Africa, six in seven new HIV infections in adolescents occur among girls, and young women are twice as likely to be living with HIV as their male peers,” UNITAID said.
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Written for Passport Health by Elle Johnson. Elle is a freelance journalist and social media content creator in Florida. Not only does she enjoy working as a freelancer, but in her free time she enjoys working on fictional stories.