Scientists Working On New ARVs To Be Taken Once A Month
Scientists are working on a new HIV preventive drug that will be taken only once a month.
Currently, drugs to prevent HIV infection, and drugs for HIV-positive people on antiretroviral therapy, are taken daily.
The new drug, Islatravir, will be administered to HIV-negative people as a way of preventing infection (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) and will only be taken once every month compared to Truvada which is already in use but is taken daily.
Speaking during a recent interview with State media, the Principal Investigator at the University of Zimbabwe’s Clinical Trials Research Centre Dr Nyaradzo Mgodi revealed that work on the new drug has commenced. She said:
We have started work on a new drug called Islatravir that we are investigating to see if it can prevent HIV infection if taken once a month only.
One will not have to take one pill every day, rather, we are doing research to see its effectiveness if taken once a month.
Islatravir is a form of an Antiretroviral Drug, these drugs, however, have various classes as some prevent infection from HIV, some attack the virus as soon as the virus enters the cells and so on.
Islatravir is effective in that it prevents HIV infection in two ways as it enters the body.
As scientists, we are looking into that this new drug be taken once a month as a form of HIV prevention while comparing it with Truvada which is taken daily.
She said there was a challenge of pill fatigue and defaulting as drugs were taken daily.
Dr Mgodi, who has vast experience in clinical trials on HIV prevention in women, trials for the drugs will start at the end of the year. She said:
The Islatravir study, named Impower-022 will start before the end of the year and we are going to recruit 4 500 women from Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and the USA but Zimbabwe will enrol 150 women who are sexually active and are at risk of HIV infection.
The study will take at least three years meaning if we start the research by year-end, we will do it for three years to get the results.
We also observe how the research is going because studies can be stopped before three years lapse if we get our desired results or if results are adverse.
In other news, South African Soldiers Shot Near Zimbabwean Border
South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers were shot at by three suspects while on patrol near the Zimbabwean border.
SANDF managed to arrest one of the suspects and handed them over to the South African Police Service (SAPS).
Soldiers were reportedly conducting routine foot patrols near…Learn More