Experts have come up with some groundbreaking findings regarding HIV prevention in a new study. They have claimed that a single shot every two months might be more effective in preventing HIV in women. This is considered to be a very important development in the battle against the deadly disease. Experts have said that six drug shots will be given to women over a year rather than 365 days daily prevention pills, which are available in the market. The findings of the study have been highly convincing, therefore experts have decided to end the clinical trial of the drug before the deadline. Health experts have said that this will be a game-changer development, especially for women. The United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS has reported that women and young girls account for nearly half of all new HIV cases. As per the report, in sub-Saharan Africa, five out of six new HIV cases have emerged among adolescent girls in the age range of 15 to 19 years.
The lead author of the research Kimberley Smith has said that first, we need to contain the deadly virus among young women to eradicate the epidemic. The new study has come up with a more effective and easy option for women. Earlier, there has been only one approved medication for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for women, which is a course of a daily pill called Truvada taken to prevent HIV. The second pill called Descovy as well has been approved but it is for men and transgender women only. Many women often forget to take the pill, which cuts down the efficacy of the drug. HIV injection shots might be more convenient for such women who have been struggling to hide their medication regime from their sexual partners. This clinical trial has been done by the HIV Prevention Trials Network and sponsored by the National Institute of Health. Scientists have compared HIV injection drug Cabotegravir with Truvada in a randomized trial.
Experts have been trying to develop an efficient PrEP strategy for women and finally, they have found one. Health experts have said that the new HIV shots are affordable and safe for women. However, new HIV injections need to be available at a reasonable cost in economically weaker nations as well. In the US, Truvada has been out of reach for many people, who might be at a higher risk. Experts have said that women should be given easy access to the shots, which is given every eight weeks. There have been 3223 volunteers in 20 locations across seven nations in sub-Saharan Africa. Around 34 women who have been given Truvada have been infected with HIV, whereas only four women among those who have received HIV shots have been diagnosed with the disease. Experts have found that 2 out of 4 infected women have stopped taking the shots midway. In the end, experts have confirmed that HIV shots have been 89 percent more effective as compared to Truvada. These HIV injections do not require refrigeration, therefore mobile or community clinics can easily store these drug shots and later provide it to women who are at a higher risk of the deadly disease.