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New Research Shows Long-Acting Injectable is Preferable to Pills

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Ninety percent of study participants preferred the every-two-month HIV treatment regimen over taking a daily pill.

Global HIV specialist company ViiV Healthcare presented positive 12-month findings from a SOLAR study that examined the every-two-month regimen of Cabenuva (an injectable) against the efficacy of the daily oral pill Biktarvy.

The first head-to-head Phase IIIb study of its kind, the SOLAR findings showed that doses of Cabenuva every two months achieved virologic efficacy versus the daily oral option. Additionally, 90 percent of participants who switched also preferred the long-acting regimen.

A total of 670 participants who were already virally suppressed due to Biktarvy were randomly selected to switch, with 447 participants taking the every-two-month regimen, and the other 223 remaining on the daily pill.

Forty-seven percent of participants reported always or often experiencing challenges with taking their daily pills at the beginning of the study — with worry of judgment, forgetting, or unintentionally disclosing their HIV status being among the most predominant fears.

The main reasons participants preferred the long-acting regimen was less worry about remembering, convenience, not having to carry the medication on them, not having to be reminded of their status day-to-day, and not having to worry about someone accidentally finding their medications.

“There are many people living with HIV who are virally suppressed but experience challenges taking a daily oral pill, including fears of accidentally disclosing their HIV status due to discovery of their medicine,” Moti N. Ramgopal of the Midway Immunology Research Center, Fort Pierce, Florida, and principal investigator for the SOLAR study said in a statement. “These findings raise the critical reminder that healthcare providers who prescribe HIV medicines should identify and incorporate patient preferences when making treatment recommendations, in addition to standard efficacy and safety data, to ensure that people living with HIV have the best treatment option for their needs.”

Additional findings will be presented at future congresses.

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