Injections ‘next revolution’ in HIV - study
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Scientists say that the "next revolution" in HIV could see daily drugs replaced with just six doses a year where the HIV medication is slowly and continuously released into the blood.
Early trial data from 309 patients showed jabs every one or even two months worked as well as daily pills - which is how antiretroviral medication is currently taken. Daily antiretroviral medication holds the virus back, prevents HIV destroying the immune system and stops the development of Aids. The success of therapy has led to deaths related to Aids halving since 2005 to around one million a year. But the medication is a burden - someone diagnosed aged 20 could end up taking more than 20,000 HIV tablets in a lifetime and some people struggle, leading to HIV coming back.
The trial was conducted at 50 centres in the US, Canada, Germany, France and Spain. When people were diagnosed with HIV they were initially given oral therapy to bring the virus under control. Then they spent 96 weeks getting either traditional daily pills, monthly injections or injections every two months.
The results, published in the Lancet medical journal, showed that 84% of patients on daily doses were still suppressing the virus, 87% with injections every four weeks and 94% with injections every eight weeks with side effects including diarrhoea and headache. However, this is still a relatively small trial and a larger and longer-term one is already underway to try to confirm the results.


http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40703336
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