The University of Illinois at Chicago ( UIC ), on June 16, announced that it will begin recruiting participants for a clinical trial to compare the efficacy of a newly developed injectable drug to prevent new infections of the HIV virus with that of the oral medication Truvada.
In a statement, Richard Novak, chief of infectious disease in the UIC College of Medicine and principal investigator on the grant, said, "The number one reason that Truvada fails to prevent the transmission of HIV is when it's not taken consistently every day as prescribed," Novak said.
The injectable medication, Cabotegravir, would need to be administered once every two months, he added.
"If people only need to get a shot once every two months instead of having to remember to take pills every day, we think that the rate of transmission among those on the injectable will decrease," Novak said.
Novak and colleagues will be recruiting about 60 persons in the Chicago area; about 4,500 persons are expected to participate worldwide. The trial is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
"If the trial is successful, Cabotegravir may have a huge impact in curtailing HIV transmission in the future," said Novak. "New HIV infections among men who have sex with men and transgender women who have sex with men is on the rise, and new drugs are needed to more effectively block transmission."