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HIV patients, rejoice! A new injection soon to curtail AIDS risk

A new landmark trial has shown that this once-a-month injection can replace the daily antiretroviral therapy (ART) that the HIV positive patients currently undergo.

More than 35 million people have HIV and the numbers keep increasing every year and there is no "cure" for the disease, but strict adherence to the antiretroviral drugs do keep the disease at bay. However, the daily regimen does take a toll on their overall health. But there has been a new ray of hope for the patients suffering from HIV.

An Irish drug firm conducted trials for over an year in its Phase 3 to come to the conclusion that the new injection is as good as the ART to keep AIDS at bay. And the experts have claimed that replacing the daily regimen of three or more antiretroviral (ART) pills with a shot will have the same effect.

The tests, involving HIV patients from 13 countries, administered 620 patients who had suppressed HIV be given a three-pill standard treatment, before switching to the monthly shot. And after 48 weeks of trials, the effectiveness of injection was similar to the three-pill therapy.

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According to ViiV Healthcare, the pharmaceutical firm behind the trial, this new injection has crossed the final hurdle and it can now be licensed or human usage. The injection, which needs to be overlooked by a doctor as of now - contains two ART drugs, cabotegravir and rilpirivine.

Dr John Pottage, chief scientific and medical officer at ViiV Healthcare reportedly said, "Future versions of the jab could be self-injected. But as of now, this novel approach is another step towards potentially reducing the treatment burden for people living with HIV."

The injection 'may offer an alternative' to daily pills for patients whose HIV is already suppressed, Dr. Pottage added. According to him, if the injection is approved, it would change the dosage 'from 365 days per year to just 12'.

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