Health Workers elated by injectable ARVs

The Joint Clinical Research Center (JCRC) is on the brink of making a major breakthrough in the clinical trials of an injectable Antiretroviral drug (ARVs), with a total target of 512 participants living with HIV/AIDS across the country to be enrolled on the experimental treatment.

The JCRC is set to carry out an efficacy and safety study on the drugs entitled ‘COBOTEGRAVIR (CAB)’ and ‘RILPIVIRINE (RPV)’ to assess quality of life, adherence of patients to the drugs not withstanding economic implications. However, only participants above the age of 18 and with a suppressed viral load will be allowed into the study.

According to information availed by the JCRC, the 24 month trial shall be carried out in 3 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa including Uganda, Kenya and South Africa. The participants will be tested and monitored for this period and given jabs every two months, but as progress is registered the time between jabs may increase to four months.

Grace Kibanda, a health worker based in Entebbe said the injectable drugs will change treatment for HIV/AIDS for the better. “People living with HIV are faced with a burden to take a pill on a daily, with such a revolutionary injectable antiretroviral drug. If it is successful our patients will be relieved. I am aware of such options in different countries, but the only worry is if patients will take the initiative to turn up for the periodic treatment.”Kibanda said

Nicholas Mukulu, who has lived with HIV his entire life told Gateway News that injectable antiretroviral drugs will help improve adherence to treatment and also cancel stigma in communities. “People that travel a lot suffer the trouble of carrying their pills around and sometimes end up missing treatment, also HIV patients will have a chance to live a life free of daily drugs.” Mukulu remarked

If the clinical trial for drug meets the criteria for safety, it will be rolled out in a period of 3 years. Countries like Germany, United Kingdom, USA have injectable antiretroviral treatment availble.

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