New Treatment Effectively Prevents HIV in Women

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Hiv in women
Photo by Antonino Visalli on Unsplash

Recently researchers are halting a new study earlier than expected after making a potential discovery about an experimental medicine shot that performed better every 2 months than common daily pills to help prevent the transmission of HIV in women from infected sexual partners.

This is great news for AID prevention efforts because it is difficult to prevent the infection in women when not a lot of methods are available to women in places like Africa the origin place of the study. Women in Africa struggle to protect themselves against the virus and the research serves adequate relief.

Cabotegravir the drug was found 89 % more successful at preventing infection of HIV in women than the Truvada pills that are prescribed to them for limiting the infection, according to the results of the study. Both of these medications however are effective at reducing the risk of transmission.

These results reassert the results of another study that announced its outcomes earlier this year. A previous similar study also tested daily pills and compared them to shots in gay men. The results appear similar to those of the latest study.

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The drug is being developed by ViiV Healthcare, they are owned mostly by GlaxoSmithKline alongside Pfizer Inc and Shionogi Limited. Its sponsored by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and ViiV. The drugs were provided by Gilead Sciences who also make both Truvada and ViiV.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is the top infectious disease doctor at the NIH. He believes this to be a major advancement in medicine. He emphasizes that the importance of this study is immense.

Fauci points out that the drug offers prevention of HIV in women who most often are the ones who need it the very most.

Sinead Delany-Moretlwe from the University of the Witwatersrand is the lead researcher on the study. She says young women are two times more likely to contract HIV than men in some parts of the globe.

Women require options that are discreet and offer them a safe option without having to negotiate with the partner that may be infected to use preventative measures like condoms, says Deborah Waterhouse of ViiV.

The study included above 3,200 participants from 7 different African countries each of whom were randomly picked to get either the Truvada pills or take the shots every two months. What followed next was nothing short of being a stroke of genius, independent monitors on the study ended up stopping the study before its predicted time after realizing that only 0.21 percent of women who got shots ended up being infected with the AIDs virus compared to the 1.79 percent of women who took the Truvada pills.

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There were more experienced side effects in those that took the daily pills, effects like nausea.

Now the makers of Cabotegravir are asking regulators for approval to sell it for the purpose that the study used it for since Truvada is already widely used.

Although condoms remain widely advised to prevent the spread of such infectious diseases besides just HIV, this new shot of medicine offers people a new option for prevention, one that works and can give people more protection over their bodies.

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