New Implant, Vaccine Trial to Provide New HIV Hope

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HIV prevention measures could take a transformative with a new matchstick-sized implant that could hinder at-risk people from contracting the virus for up to a year, according to AFP.


This was made known after findings from a clinical trial at the 10th annual International AIDS Society Conference in Mexico City, noting that the revolutionary device could change HIV prevention methods.


Developers said the implant uses a molecule called MK-8591, which is about ten times stronger than the current HIV inhibiting medicines in the market, noting that it has a very high barrier against resistance.


Mike Robertson, director global clinical development for virology at MSD research said: " It slowly releases the drug and maintains a very consistent level of the drug in your body and taking this prophylactically it can actually prevent you from getting infected".


The people that are at highest risk are different populations — for example, men who have sex with men still remain in the US and Europe the group that has the highest rate of new infections,” he added


“But globally the highest incidence rate is in young women in sub-Saharan Africa and this is another group where most the new infections are occurring.”


However, the United Nations (UN)In its annual report on HIV/AIDS this month said that the global death toll for AIDS had fallen one third since 2010 to almost 770,000 in 2018.


The intergovernmental organization also disclosed that while infection rates were declining worldwide, it was increasing in some regions like the Middle East and Eastern Europe.


The International AIDS Society president, Anton Pozniak said the device "offers another choice for those who might in the future also have pills and injectables available" for preventive treatment.


The second phase of the trial held among healthy, low-risk, HIV negative adults in Rwanda, Kenya and the United States (U.S), with results showing that the vaccines were well-tolerated among the subjects. Meanwhile, planning has commenced for the third phase of the trial.