ViiV has announced a public tender agreement with the Ministry of Health in Botswana for its HIV drug dolutegravir.

This is the first time dolutegravir will be made available as part of a national health programme in sub-Saharan Africa since the WHO recommended dolutegravir as alternative first line treatment in HIV patients in late 2015.

As part of the agreement, ViiV Healthcare has committed to providing dolutegravir 50mg. The medicine would be used as a first linecore-agent to treat newly diagnosed patients tested under the programme in Botswana.

This is the largest tender ever secured by ViiV Healthcare in the African sub-continent, a region particularly impacted by the HIV epidemic with nearly three quarters of the global HIV population living there.

Notably, this comes less than three years after the product was first approved and less than one year after it was included in the WHO guidelines.

Dr Dominique Limet, CEO of ViiV, says: "This tender agreement is a great moment as part of our commitment to accelerating access to our treatments in Africa. It will allow people living with HIV in Botswana to have access to dolutegravir as part of a national test and treat initiative, locally referred to as the 'Treat All' programme."

ViiV is majority owned by GSK, with Pfizer and Shionogi as shareholders.