Monthly injections could replace daily pills for people with HIV

Daily pills may become a thing of the past for people who have HIV. A long-acting injection has been found to work just as well or better than standard pill-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) at preventing the virus from bouncing back and becoming infectious again.

At the end of a two-year trial of 286 people with HIV, 94 per cent of those who had injections of the long-acting therapy every eight weeks had the virus under control, defined as having less than 50 copies of the virus per millilitre of blood. A monthly form of the injection was effective in 87 per cent of those who had it, while standard ART pills worked for 84 per cent of those who took them.

 

The results were unveiled today by Joseph Eron, of the University of North Carolina, at a conference of the International AIDS Society in Paris.

“This is a big step forward,” says Mahesh Mahalingam of the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. “It will help remove the challenge of taking tablets every day and significantly improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.”

Slow release

The treatment is a suspension of two antiretroviral drugs called cabotegravir and rilpivirine... This story originally appeared on New Scientist - read the full article here. 

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