The Epidemic

New Implant On The Horizon

The device could eventually offer a novel approach to HIV suppression.

A matchstick-sized implant could revolutionize HIV prevention regimes after early trials suggested the device could stop at-risk people contracting the virus for up to a year at a time, new research showed last month, reports Raw Story.

Unveiling their findings from a clinical trial at the 10th annual International AIDS Society conference in Mexico City, developers said the device could eventually offer a novel approach to HIV suppression.

It uses a molecule called MK-8591, which is roughly 10 times stronger as an HIV inhibitor than medicines currently on the market, and which has a very high barrier against resistance.

“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,” Mike Robertson, director global clinical development for virology at MSD research, told AFP.

Robertson said that the implant, or even a monthly pill containing the same active ingredient could provide more options for at risk communities.

Anton Pozniak, International AIDS Society president, said that the implant “offers another choice for those who might in the future also have pills and injectables available” to prevent infection. n