In a recent study conducted in Africa, the experimental medicine Cabotegravir showed greater effectiveness than daily Truvada pills in preventing women from contracting HIV from their partners. Researchers are stopping the study early due to how well the new drug worked.
According to experts, Cabotegravir is the recent boom in the fight against HIV prevention, with an 89% effectiveness over Truvada. The latter recently faced a series of lawsuits for damages to the kidney and bones, leading to a recall from the market.
The results reflect a study conducted early this year, which compared the experimental medicine’s effectiveness with the already established daily pills in gay men. It involved over 3,200 participants in seven African countries.
The women received shots every two months or daily Truvada pills. The study ended after independent monitors advised stopping the survey after seeing that only 0.21% of the women taking the shots became HIV positive compared to 1.79% on the pills.
Cabotegravir is a ViiV Healthcare product, a subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline, in conjunction with Pfizer and Shionogi Limited. The United States National Institute of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and ViiV funded the research.
Doctor Anthony Fauci, a top infectious disease doctor at the NIH, noted that the drug, when approved, would be useful to women who need it the most. The female sex is the focus of experimental medicine Cabotegravir because, in some parts of the world, they are twice more likely to contract HIV than men. This statement was also further emphasized by Deborah Waterhouse, the chief executive of Viiv.
Viiv is seeking approval to sell the drug as an HIV preventive medicine but advises that condom remains a way to prevent other sexually transmitted diseases.
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