If you’re an HIV-negative gay/bi man or trans woman who has bottomed for bareback sex, has more than five sex partners (with or without condoms), has used narcotic stimulants or has had gonorrhea, chlamydia or syphilis in the last six months, congratulations! You may be eligible to join an injectable PrEP study.
The Glasko Smith-Kline-owned HIV research company ViiV Healthcare just announced phase three of their worldwide study involving over 4,500 people in 40 sites in North and South America, Asia and Africa. If you qualify, you’ll be injected with an integrase strand transfer inhibitors (INSTI) called Cabotegravir, an antiretroviral drug that blocks HIV’s ability to infect new cells.
Cabotegravir stays active in the body for two months, unlike Truvada whose effectiveness decreases if not taken daily. If the trial proves successful, HIV-positive and negative people could one day receive a bi-monthly injection to help prevent HIV rather than having to take a daily pill. Ultimately, researchers hope to create an HIV-preventing injection that would last at least three months, if not longer. That’d certainly help the United Nations reach their goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
Side effects of Cabotegravir include insomnia and headache with more serious effects including allergic reactions and abnormal liver function in patients with hepatitis B or C. Talk with your doctor or contact one of the study sites if you’re interested in joining.