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Long-term anti-viral injections
Nov 7, 2013

Hi Dr. Young,

My doctor told me this treatment is not just a one-shot deal on a weekly or monthly basis. You still need to take additional meds with it. Is that true? Also, are we talking about monthly in terms of the injections? Weekly just doesn't seem long enough. Finally, is the treatment in injection form only, not pills? Thank you, Dr. Young!

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks or posting.

There are two antiretroviral medications that are being explored in long-acting injectable formulations- the first is the experimental integrase inhibitor, "744" from Viiv Healthcare, the second is a new formulation of the NNRTI rilpivirine (currently available as an oral pill and also found in Complera). Both offer the potential for once-monthly injections.

The idea is to use an entirely injectable, two drug regimen of 744+ripivirine as maintenance therapy for people after they've achieved viral suppression on a three drug regimen.

It's a very interesting new approach for treatment of chronic HIV infection (never mind additional ideas about how to use long-acting injections for pre-exposure prophylaxis- PrEP).

Hope that helps answer your questions.

Be well, BY



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