In DepthBiomedicine

Once-a-year implant shows promise against HIV

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Science  26 Jul 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6451, pp. 309
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6451.309

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Summary

People not infected with HIV can take a daily pill to prevent contracting the virus, a proven strategy called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). But many people who start PrEP do not stick with it or take the pills only intermittently, undermining its effectiveness. This week, at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, the pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. reported a potential solution: a slow-release implant of an experimental antiretroviral (ARV) drug designed to be long-lasting in the body. The combination promises to provide an effective HIV shield for 1 year or more, far longer than any ARV now on the market. It's one of several novel ARV strategies moving forward that offer potentially simpler options for treating or preventing HIV and, if widely used, could change the course of the AIDS epidemic.

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