Aids: WHO, stalemate for prevention, new guidelines on drugs – Health

At a time of stalemate in the fight against AIDS, the World Health Organization (WHO) launches new guidelines on pre-exposure drugs, underlining how the new long-acting prophylaxis, which can be administered once every two months instead of daily , both to be considered a “safe and highly effective prevention option for people at substantial risk of HIV infection”.

Published on the occasion of the 24th International Conference on AIDS underway in Montreal, Canada, the guidelines, explains WHO, come “at a critical moment, as prevention efforts have stalled with 1.5 million new HIV infections in 2021, the same as in 2020 “and” 4000 new infections every day in 2021 “.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a drug treatment that is done before possible exposure to HIV, and is recommended for people who have a particularly high risk of contracting the virus (such as drug addicts, sex workers, homosexuals, transgenders and prisoners). WHO’s goal is to encourage the introduction of long-acting cabotegravir (CAB-LA) as part of a comprehensive approach to prevention.

It is an intramuscular injectable form of PrEP, with the first 2 injections given 4 weeks apart, followed by one every 8 weeks. CAB-LA “has been shown to be safe and highly effective in 2 randomized controlled trials, which show that it resulted in a 79% reduction in HIV risk compared to oral PrEP.” For the latter, in fact, “adherence to daily drug therapy was often a challenge”.