In Uganda, injectable HIV treatment offers hope to patients | HIV/AIDS News

This treatment is the first choice without drugs against HIV, and studies show that it outperforms oral medications.

Since Gerald Muwonge tested positive for HIV eight years ago, controlling his viral load has meant carrying vials of the drug for his daily regimen while avoiding the dread of the virus. market that this might mean for a gay man in Uganda.

But he hopes that will soon change thanks to an injectable treatment that only needs to be administered every two months.

Last October, about 200 patients in the East African country began a trial of a World Health Organization-approved injectable drug containing cabotegravir, or CAB-LA, and rilpivirine. Results will be available in 2024.

The treatment, developed by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, is the first non-drug choice against HIV, and studies have shown it even outperforms oral medications.

Muwonge, a 27-year-old lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender activist, said: “These drugs, you have to take them every day, and if you take them at exactly 9 a.m., it’s it. will be until you die.” and the rights of intersex people (LGBTI).

He said that his strict medication regimen was messing with his mind.

Muwonge, who was not among the patients participating in the trial, said the new injectable treatment option could help reduce the stigma that HIV patients face, especially gay men like him. .

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and gay people often face arrest, ostracism and violence at the hands of law enforcement or local police.

Many people living with HIV don’t go public with friends, family members, and colleagues, and prefer to conceal that they have an illness that disproportionately affects the LGBTI community.

The GSK treatment was approved in the United States late last year and was confirmed by the WHO this year.

GSK reached an agreement in July to allow the use of low-cost generic versions of the drug in developing countries but said the first generic drug is likely to only be available in 2026 due to regulatory requirements. production and use.

In the interim, GSK said it is working to make the regimen free for governments to conduct studies. Trials are also taking place in Kenya and South Africa.

William Tamale, injectable antiviral program manager at Uganda’s Joint Clinical Research Center, said the drug was “very promising”.

The JCRC was chosen to manage the injectable drug trial, and Tamale led the program in Uganda, where at least 1.4 million people are living with HIV/AIDS.


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