A new report shows that a single shot given every two months is more effective than a daily pill at preventing HIV in women. Following the convincing data, researchers have even decided to end their clinical trial early.
“If we’re going to get to the end of the epidemic, we have to do something to stem the tide of infection in those women,” says Dr. Kimberly Smith, head of research and development at ViiV Healthcare, which manufactures the injection called Cabotegravir. “That is why this study is so important. It gives a new, incredibly effective option for women.”
In the randomized, double-blind clinical trial, the injected drug was compared with the daily pill Truvada among 3,223 participants in 20 cities across seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. An interim analysis showed that the long-acting injection was 89% more effective than the daily pill. Plus, women struggled to take the pill regularly, undercutting the usefulness of the oral medication, because they have to hide or negotiate their medication use with their partners.