West & Central Africa Oral PrEP Initiations, 2023

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As of Q3 2023, the top five West and Central African countries for PrEP initiation have surpassed 10,000 initiations; Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ghana and Nigeria. Nigeria has marked almost 550,000 cumulative initiations as of this quarter, ranking it second, behind South Africa, worldwide. These milestones can be credited to targeted PEPFAR investments. But despite these successes, West and Central Africa make up only 14 percent of PrEP initiations recorded in Africa, compared to 85 percent reported by East and Southern Africa. These same countries are home to two thirds of all people living with HIV in West Africa. There is vital work to be done to close the gap.

West and Central Africa can and must continue to leverage this recent growth in oral PrEP by making additional HIV prevention options available. In September, Nigeria’s regulators approved injectable cabotegravir (CAB for PrEP)—approving the first new biomedical HIV prevention option in a West and Central African country since oral PrEP. But at this time, only one other CAB for PrEP application has been submitted in the region, in Côte d’Ivoire, and none for the dapivirine vaginal ring (DVR). Only one CAB for PrEP implementation study is planned for the region.

Excerpted from PxWire Volume 13, Issue 4.