UK publishes draft recommendation for injectable treatment for HIV patients; what it is all about

By: |
November 23, 2021 4:05 PM

hIV medication keeps viral load in limits so that it is not transmitted to other individuals.

HIV is still incurable but modern treatment can control HIV

Soon, injections will be valid for long-acting treatment for HIV-1 infections in adults. The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), last week has published a draft guidance that will help people take the injectable treatment that comes in a combination of injections rilpivirine ( manufactured by Janssen s Rekambya) and cabotegravir (manufactured by Viiv Healthcare and called Vocaaabria)

Oral Vs Injections

HIV still does not have a treatment that guarantees complete cure, but there are ways to manage the virus with medication. Lifelong antiretroviral tablets consumed per day is one way. This medication keeps viral load in limits so that it is not transmitted to other individuals.

According to Meindert Boysen, director and deputy chief executive of the Centre for Health Technology Assessment at NICE, HIV is still incurable but modern treatment can control HIV. But consuming pills daily can have several side effects like toxicity, psychological issues, change in lifestyle and other kinds of stigma.

Now clinical trials prove administering shots that are a combination of rilpivirine and cabotegravir is as effective as oral antiretroviral pills to keep viral load in limits. Adults with HIV infection who have been consuming antiretrovirals and have no evidence of viral resistance can now switch to the injection.

The injections need to be administered once every two months after an oral tablet lead-in period.

Who will benefit from new HV injection

According to NICE, 13,000 people in the UK will benefit from the treatment . However, this new form of treatment is still in the stage of recommendations and clinics need to step up to start giving these injections to HIV patients and that would take up time, says Professor Alison Grant, Dean of its Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

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