allAfrica.com allafrica.com 27 Jan, 2021 06:45 am

Kenya: Monthly Injection to Replace Daily Pills for HIV Treatment

A new HIV drug which could see patients stop taking daily antiretroviral therapy drugs has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

p A new HIV drug which could see patients stop taking daily antiretroviral therapy drugs has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.A total of 80 per cent of adults living with HIV in Kenya are aware of their diagnosis; 96 per cent of those aware of their diagnosis are on antiretroviral therapy (ART); and 91 per cent of those on treatment have achieved viral load suppression.The greenlight for the drug is based on the phase III ATLAS (Antiretroviral Therapy as Long-Acting Suppression) and FLAIR (First Long-Acting Injectable Regimen) studies that included more than 1,100 patients from 16 countries.With 12 jabs annually, Cabenuva has been found to be effective in maintaining a viral suppression among adults living with HIV with no history of treatment failure, and with no known or suspected resistance to either cabotegravir or rilpivirine.

According to the Kenya population-based HIV impact assessment (Kenphia) 2018 survey, there has been a steady increase in the number of people living with HIV who have been having access to life-long antiretroviral (ARV) drugs.The drug, known as Cabenuva (cabotegravir and rilpivirine) which is administered as an injection once a month, not only frees patients from taking pills everyday but also accords them privacy compared to the current antiretroviral (ARV) regimen.

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