An injectable antiretroviral therapy (ART) consisting of two drugs (cabotegravir and rilpivirine) administered every four or eight weeks may be as effective as a daily oral dose of the drugs in maintaining viral suppression in patients with HIV, according to a new phase 2 trial published in The Lancet.
In the study, patients were given injectable ART as a maintenance therapy over 96 weeks once they had achieved viral suppression after 20 weeks of daily oral medication.
The potential for a long-acting injectable ART could ease the burden faced by people living with HIV of having to take daily oral medication lifelong to manage the disease. Phase 3 trials are ongoing and are needed to confirm the results, and further trials will be needed in wider groups of patients to generalise the findings.
The trial is presented on April 24, 2017 at the International AIDS Society meeting in Paris, France.
An estimated 36.7 million people worldwide are living with HIV, and advances in ART have led to improved survival and quality of life for people with HIV.