Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Experimental Drug Helps Protect Women from HIV Infection

Tue 10 Nov 2020 | 02:02 AM
Sara Goda

An experimental drug study conducted in Africa was stopped early because the researchers found that the new experimental “Cabotegravir” shot taken every two months proved to be better in protecting women from contracting the HIV from an infected sexual partner than the regular daily pills.

The study results suggest that the “Cabotegravir” shot is 89% more effective in preventing HIV infection than the “Truvada” daily pills despite the fact that both drugs reduce the risk of infection.

The “Cabotegravir” drug was developed by ViiV Healthcare which is a company owned by GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer Inc. and Shionogi Limited. The study was sponsored by the U.S National Institutes of Health, ViiV and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The study included more than 3200 participants in seven different African countries. The participants were selected randomly and assigned to take either the “Cabotegravir” shot or the “Truvada” daily pills.

The study’s monitors advised researchers to stop the study early since only 0.21% of the participants taking the shot contracted the HIV while 1.79% of the participants taking the daily pills contracted the virus.

The “Cabotegravir” shot is currently waiting for approvement to be sold in the market. However, that is not the real issue but the fact that there is still much work to be done to make all HIV prevention methods whether they are the “Cabotegravir” shots, “Truvada” pills or condoms more affordable and widely available. Especially, in the less developed areas around the world.