HIV MedicationsCabenuva

Cabenuva for HIV Treatment: Everything You Need to Know

illustration of larger-than-life cabotegravir and rilpivirine bottles alongside a person holding a Cabenuva box
Lily Fulop

    Frequently Asked QuestionsCabenuva

    What is Cabenuva used for?

    Cabenuva is a complete, injectable antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimen for the treatment of HIV. It was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2021.

    How is Cabenuva taken?

    Cabenuva is taken as an intramuscular injection once a month, administered by a licensed medical professional. The two medications are given as two injections at separate buttock (gluteal) injection sites—either at opposite sides or at least 2 cm apart on the same side.

    What are the drugs in Cabenuva?

    Cabenuva is a combination of two intramuscular-injection medications, cabotegravir (CAB) and rilpivirine (RPV):

    • Cabotegravir is in a class of drugs called integrase strand transfer inhibitors (INSTIs), which stop HIV from making copies of itself later in its life cycle.
    • Rilpivirine is in a class of drugs called non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), which block HIV from making copies of itself early in its life cycle.

    Does Cabenuva have any side effects I should worry about?

    Cabenuva is generally well-tolerated, with the major side effect reported being local pain and irritation at the injection sites.

    David Malebranche, M.D., M.P.H.

    David Malebranche, M.D., M.P.H.

    David Malebranche, M.D., M.P.H., is a black same-gender-loving educator, author, activist, and internal medicine physician. He co-hosts the YouTube series 'Revolutionary Health' as part of The Counter Narrative Project and also appears on the #AskTheHIVDoc video series.