UNITAID / HIV PREVENTION NEW AGREEMENT

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28-Jul-2022 00:02:48
A new agreement will allow for generic production of first and only long-acting injectable HIV prevention in 90 countries where the majority of new HIV infections occur. UNITAID

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STORY: UNITAID / HIV PREVENTION NEW AGREEMENT
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SOURCE: UNITAID
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 28 JULY 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – FIOCRUZ - SALVADOR, STATE OF BAHIA, BRAZIL

1.Wide shot, A transgender woman walks into “Casarão da Diversidade” (Diversity Center for LGBTQIA+), a health centre in Salvador, Brazil.
2.Various shots, a transgender woman (who is a peer educator and a study participant) walks into “Casarão da Diversidade” (Diversity Center for LGBTQIA+), a health centre in Salvador, Brazil, and talks to the centre’s receptionist before having a consultation on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.

UNITAID - JULY 2022 - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

3. SOUNDBITE (English) Tenu Avafia, Deputy Executive Director, UNITAID:
“Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP as we call it, is a highly-effective method of preventing HIV infection. Until fairly recently, PrEP was only available in tablet form and had to be taken once a day. While taking a pill once a day is okay for some, for others it can really pose a challenge, especially those at high risk of HIV. Long-acting cabotegravir is an injectable form of PrEP and is seen as a game-changer for that reason. That’s because it provides up to two months of protection from HIV from a single injection.”

FILE – ALIMA - ABIDJAN, COTE D’IVOIRE

4. Various shots, woman sits on her bed and uses an HIV self-test in Cote d’Ivoire.

UNITAID - JULY 2022 - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

5. SOUNDBITE (English) Tenu Avafia, Deputy Executive Director, UNITAID:
“This new innovation and highly effective option – we hope – will allow people who are at greater risk of HIV to use a technology that is most suitable for their particular needs and their situations. This includes adolescent girls and young women, and key populations, such as men who have sex with men, sex workers, and in some cases, people who use drugs.”

FILE – FIOCRUZ - SALVADOR, STATE OF BAHIA, BRAZIL

6. Various shots, a young man who has sex with men (who is also a peer educator) is consulting a nurse at “Casarão da Diversidade” (Diversity Center for LGBTQIA+), a health centre in Salvador, Brazil. The nurse then hands oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) pills containing tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) to the young man.
7. Various shots, a neighbourhood in Salvador, called Rio Vermelho, widely used as a venue for sociability by young LGBT people. All footage was shot in Salvador, State of Bahia, Northeast Brazil, one of the PrEP 1519 study sites.

STORYLINE:

A new agreement will allow for generic production of first and only long-acting injectable HIV prevention in 90 countries where majority of new HIV infections occur.

A voluntary licensing agreement for patents relating to cabotegravir long-acting (LA), an injectable form of HIV prevention, or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), will help enable access to generic formulations of the product in least developed, low income, lower-middle income and sub-Saharan African countries1.

PrEP is a highly effective method of HIV prevention, but until recently was only available in pill form, taken daily or, in some cases, before and after sex. Cabotegravir LA for PrEP is an important advancement as it can provide two months of continuous protection against HIV infection through a single intramuscular injection, therefore mitigating challenges related to pill burden.

Announced today by the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), founded by Unitaid in 2010 to facilitate affordable access to quality-assured generic products, and ViiV Healthcare (ViiV), the agreement will give selected manufacturers the opportunity to develop, manufacture and supply generic versions of cabotegravir LA for PrEP in 90 countries where over 70% of all new HIV infections occurred in 2020. This announcement comes just seven months after the first regulatory approval of cabotegravir LA for PrEP in the world, and it is hoped that the agreement will contribute to enabling at-scale access to lower-cost generic supplies of the product in record time.

Each year, approximately 1.5 million people become infected with HIV worldwide, mostly among people living in low- and middle-income countries. Efforts to increase access to cabotegravir LA for PrEP will be especially impactful for groups that experience particularly high rates of infection, such as men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender women, adolescent girls and young women.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the epicenter of the HIV epidemic, the HIV infection rate of adolescent girls aged 15-19 is six times that of their male peers.

While oral PrEP is now available in many countries, challenges with adherence and stigma have limited their impact in most populations. Access to an effective long-acting HIV prevention option could significantly contribute to the goal of ending HIV transmission and ending the epidemic by 2030.

The agreement responds to Unitaid’s March 2022 call for ViiV to develop a transparent access policy for cabotegravir LA and assure a generic pathway to broader access. This is a key milestone for a broader coalition, formally launched today, that builds on longstanding collaborative efforts to accelerate affordable and equitable access to long-acting PrEP in low- and middle-income countries. Co-convened by leading global health agencies Unitaid, the World Health Organization, the Global Fund and UNAIDS, the coalition brings together a wide range of partners and civil society actors to jointly identify and address access barriers for LA PrEP products, both from ViiV and generic manufacturers, as well as for future PrEP products in the pipeline.

To ensure this new option for PrEP can reach people in resource-limited settings as quickly as possible, Unitaid is simultaneously funding some of the first large-scale implementation of cabotegravir LA in South Africa and Brazil. The work, which began earlier this year, will answer remaining questions about optimal use and demand generation that will lay the groundwork for scaling up cabotegravir LA for PrEP in low- and middle-income countries around the world.
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UNITAID
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