An injectable drug that needs to be taken every other month is “highly effective in preventing HIV acquisition,” according to a study by the HIV Prevention Trials Network.
According to the World Health Organization, the study involving around 3,200 cisgender women across seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa was stopped early after researchers found that the drug, Cabotegravir, was 89% more effective in preventing HIV infection than the PrEP drug Truvada.
PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a highly effective way to protect a person from contracting HIV during sex. According to the Center for Disease Control, it reduces the risk of infection by about 99% — but it needs to be taken daily.
“It is encouraging to learn that a long-acting injectable PrEP option has been shown to be highly effective in women,” WHO said Monday in a statement.
Cabotegravir has the “potential to increase choice and overcome some of the barriers related to adherence for long-term use of biomedical HIV prevention.”
However, the agency cautions that there are still some safety and implementation issues to consider and that it could take longer than a year for the drug to become widely available.
Nevertheless, HIV researchers are celebrating the results of the study, known as HPTN 084.
An earlier study known as HPTN 083 looked at the efficacy of cabotegravir injected once every eight weeks among cisgender men and transgender women who have sex with men. It also found that the long-acting shots were more effective than daily pills for HIV prevention.
HPTN 084 enrolled 3,223 women aged 18-45 years old who were at risk for acquiring HIV infection in 20 sites across sub-Saharan Africa: Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Source: NY Daily News||Kuulpeeps.com
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