Since 2015 PrEP has become one of the most demanded HIV preventive measures because of its outstanding effectiveness rate higher than 99%. When people started taking PrEP the only regimen recommended was the daily dose, until last year when the WHO confirmed the effectiveness of this drug taken on an event base. Recently, a clinical trial on cabotegravir injections has been a breakthrough in HIV prevention, as it has shown to be 69% more effective than PrEP when injected every 8 weeks. However, the effectiveness of this drug is believed to be higher than PrEP because of its easier adherence compared to the daily dose or event based regimen of the pills. Also, the effectiveness of this drug has been only proved in cis gender men who has sex with men (MSM) and transgender women. We still don’t know if cabotegravir injections are as effective for cis gender women, but there’s currently an on-going a clinical trial to test its potential.
Doctor Will Nutland, co-founder PrEPster has told M-coalition “The new and emerging data on injectable PrEP from study HPTN 083 moves us towards having an additional PrEP option, for those people who do not find oral PrEP acceptable. Results from the companion study, HTPN 084, trialling injectable PrEP in women will cause further excitement when they are released, possibly later this year. Take-up of oral PrEP has been lower in women than in gay men, and it’s speculated that injectable PrEP might be offered to some women, if the results are as promising as HPTN 084, alongside long-acting contraception. For gay men, injectable PrEP will offer a further option – in addition to daily and event-based oral PrEP. Every option will have pros and cons for individuals – but the new data offers a further option that will be additionally attractive to many people.”
The more our prevention options are expanding the more we can contain the HIV epidemic. Cabotegravir injections have the capacity to protect key populations around the world especially the most affect communities from HIV. It can potentially solve a lot of complications of other preventative measures e.g: a condom breaking or difficulty in committing to PrEP regimen. It will also be an added value for all current HIV interventions to support them in reducing transmission and provide further preventive alternatives for their beneficiaries.
Doctor Ioannis Hodges-Mameletzis PrEP science pioneer and friend of M-Coalition “We have to now look at the data carefully before we proceed towards regulatory approval and making formal recommendations; and of course, we await with much anticipation the outcome of HPTN 084, the study looking at CAB-LA in women. We need to make sure that as we respond to COVID-19 in the midst of this pandemic, that we do not forget about the unmet needs of HIV prevention methods for our communities”
UNAIDS welcomes new tool for HIV prevention for gay men and other men who have sex with men and transgender women. (2020, May). Retrieved from https://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/pressreleaseandstatementarchive/2020/may/20200519_injectable-cabotegravir
Global HIV prevention study to stop early after ViiV Healthcare’s long-acting injectable formulation of cabotegravir dosed every two months shows higher efficacy than daily oral PrEP. (2020, May 18). Retrieved from https://viivhealthcare.com/en-gb/media/press-releases/2020/may/global-hiv-prevention-study-to-stop-early-after-viiv-healthcares/
Benjamin, R. (2020, May 18). Long-Acting Injectable PrEP Proves as Effective as Truvada. Retrieved from https://www.poz.com/article/longacting-injectable-prep-proves-even-effective-daily-truvada