United States: As per recent reports, a large clinical trial successfully showed that an injection of a new pre-exposure prophylaxis drug, which is administered twice yearly, gives complete protection to young women from HIV infection. 

More about the trial 

In the trial, it was tested whether the six-month injection of lenacapavir is able to give better protection against HIV infection, as compared to the other two drugs, which are taken on a daily basis. 

All three drugs are pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP), as tested by the trial, which was held in South Africa and Uganda, as sciencealert.com reported. 

The first round of the trial included 5,000 participants, coming from three different sires in Uganda and 25 sites in South Africa. The aim was to check the efficacy of lenacapavir and two other drugs. 

New Injectable PrEP Brings Hope in Stopping HIV Spread. Credit | Nation Media Group
New Injectable PrEP Brings Hope in Stopping HIV Spread. Credit | Nation Media Group

Lenacapavir acts as a hurder for HIV capsid, a protein shell that protects HIV’s genetic material. The process of its administration is just under the skin, once every six months. 

The trial tested whether a six-monthly injection of lenacapavir was safe, among many other things. It would provide better r protection against HIV infection as PrEP for women between the ages of 16 and 25 years than Truvada F/TDF, a daily PrEP pill, which has been commonly available for more than a decade now. 

Findings of the study 

During the trial, more than 2,000 women who were given lenacapavir contracted HIV, showing a hundred percent efficacy. 

However, sixteen women out of 1,068, constituting 1.5 percent, who took Truvada (F/TDF), and 39 of 2,136, constituting 1.8 percent, who received Descovy (F/TAF) contracted the HIV virus, as sciencealert.com reported. 

Significance of the trial 

The trial provides an effective tool against the deadly HIV, hence raising hope for the people. 

Globally, more than 1.3 million new HIV infections were reported last year, as per UNAIDS reports. 

As per experts, PrEP is not one tool for preventing the virus, and it must be accompanied by other measures such as HIV self-testing, using protective tools such as condoms, regular screening, and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, as well as availability to contraception for women of childbearing potential, as sciencealert.com reported. 

Additionally, young men must be offered medical male circumcision for reasons related to health. 

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