Saturday, February 24, 2024

NZP+ welcomes introduction of new long acting injectable ARV

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By Dennis Chibuye

The Network of Zambian People Living with HIV/AIDS (NZP+) says the newly launched long acting injectable Cabotegravir PrEP is a game changer in preventing HIV.

Network Research and Advocacy Officer Natasha Mwila said the new long acting injectable Cabotegravir PrEP donated by the US Government marks a pivotal moment in Zambia’s fight against HIV and AIDS, as the country embarks on a groundbreaking journey of ending AIDS by 2030.

Ms. Mwila said Zambia, being one of the five countries receiving the first doses of this new long acting injectable ARV stands at the forefront of pioneering efforts to curb the spread of HIV and achieve epidemic control.

She said the injectable ARV is a game changer and provides a range of prevention options and brings hope to especially adolescents and young people at risk of HIV infection.

Ms. Mwila was speaking on Friday when she delivered a vote of thanks on behalf of Civil Society Organizations during the handover of long acting injectable Cabotegravir PrEP at Mwanjuni Health post in Chisamba.

Ms. Mwila added that the introduction of PrEP cannot be overstated, especially considering the increasing cases of new HIV infections especially among key populations such as women and girls.

“We extend our deepest appreciation to the USG for their invaluable support, Cab-La has opened doors to enhanced prevention strategies and reinforces Zambia’s collective efforts to combating HIV,” Ms. Mwila said

She added that the introduction of Cab-La will empower and protect individuals at high risk of HIV infection and help bridge the gap for individuals with poor adherence to traditional prevention methods.

She said the long-acting injectable Cabotegravir PrEP presents an opportunity in transforming Zambia’s HIV prevention efforts, particularly for individuals facing challenges with adherence to oral PrEP.

Ms. Mwila called on Civil Society Organizations to play their indispensable role in community engagement, advocacy and social mobilization and sensitize communities on PrEP as the country embarks on the prevention program journey.

She further appealed to government and other partners for continuous collaboration and meaningful involvement all stakeholders in ensuring that community members are linked to services.

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