Study with new PrEP injection makes researchers hopeful

Researchers are positive about a new HIV prevention drug. This "injectable PrEP" actually works slightly better than the pills that are now used to prevent HIV infection, research shows.
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Researchers from the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) injected the drug cabotegravir into a test group of cisgender men and transgender women who have sex with men from the US, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Thailand, Vietnam and South Africa. Half were injected with cabotegravir and received placebo PrEP pills, the other half received a placebo injection and the regular Truvada PrEP pills.

According to the HPTN test results, 1,21 percent of the group with regular PrEP pills contracted the HIV virus, while the percentage in the group that was given cabotegravir injections was 0,38 percent. Raphael Landovitz of the HPTN emphasized that having multiple options in preventing HIV is ‘’inspiring’’ and that it would help people that struggle with taking pills significantly.

The UN AIDS organization, UNAIDS, is also positive about the study. “This is a breakthrough that will have a significant impact on the lives of gay men and other men who have sex with men and transgender women when they are at higher risk of HIV infection,” said Executive Director Shannon Hader.

The researchers want to demonstrate with the test results that the new drug cabotegravir can be an "equally effective" alternative to Truvada PrEP. The extensive test result is expected to come out in a few weeks. In practice, the injection should be taken every two months.

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