An innovative long-acting PrEP has appeared in Ukraine

In Ukraine, injectable long-acting cabotegravir (CAB-LA) – the newest method of pre-exposure HIV prevention – has officially become available. It reduces the risk of HIV transmission during sexual contact by 99%.

The appearance of a long-acting drug (CAB-LA) in Ukraine will allow to expand access and coverage of services for pre-contact prevention of HIV infection, as well as prevention of HIV infection, the Ministry of Health is convinced. The availability of injectable cabotegravir along with tablet forms of DCP (TDF/FTC) will expand access to DCP and allow choosing: regular oral administration of drugs or an injectable version of prolonged action.

“Until recently, HIV was called the “plague of the 21st century.” Today, we can not only control this disease, but also prevent it by 99%, said Mykhailo Rosada, Director General of Public Health Center of MOH. – This is precisely the indicator of the effectiveness of Cabotegravir – an innovative long-acting drug for pre-contact HIV prevention. Thank you to our international partners for their strong support and cooperation, which helps to save and preserve the lives of Ukrainian men and women.”

The national program with DKP allows to provide antiretroviral drugs free of charge to people who are at high risk of HIV infection. The service is available at designated medical facilities in each region.

According to the Central Health Service of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, in 2021, 5,711 people received PrEP, and a year later, in the midst of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation, this number increased to 9,075 people. According to the results of 2023, the DKP program covered 13,147 people (4,072 more than in 2022). In 2023, 41% of men who have sex with men (MSM) used it; 19% of people who inject drugs; 1% of people who provide sexual services for remuneration.

Ukraine was chosen as one of the five countries among the partner countries of the PEPFAR initiative prioritized for expanding access to the injectable form of pre-exposure prophylaxis.

“We are very pleased that Ukraine has submitted a request to participate in the first wave of CAB-LA deployment. Considering the risks associated with war and the constant displacement of the population, we are sure that this highly effective and innovative drug will be a convenient alternative in Ukraine. Thanks to the dedication and professionalism of our government and civil society partners in Ukraine, I am confident that together we will be able to end the HIV epidemic,” said the Director of Management and Budget of The U.S. PEPFAR Brendan T. Garvin.

Currently, the project will be implemented in two cities, in the Kyiv City Clinical Hospital No. 5 and the Lviv Regional Phthisiopulmonary Clinical Treatment and Diagnostic Center.

The project is implemented with the support of the PEPFAR initiative and the pharmaceutical company ViiV Healthcare. It will be implemented by the Central Health Service of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine in partnership with the coordination office of PEPFAR, CDC, USAID, WHO, IBF “Alliance of Public Health ” and NGO “ALLIANSE.GLOBAL”.