ARVS; Kenya Joins Clinical Trial On Injectable ARVS
On 31st March 2022 the first patient in Kenya was injected with antiretroviral medication after being enrolled in a study being conducted at Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi.
This is a collaborative study involving eight sites in Africa including Aga Khan University Hospital.
The same trial is being carried out in other sites in Kenya as well as in Uganda and South Africa.
“Successful treatment of HIV leads to control of viral multiplication. This success relies on people taking their drugs regularly. The way someone takes their drugs may depend on several factors that include the number of drugs taken, the ease of swallowing them, the number of times they are taken, their taste, as well as the associated side effects among other factors,” said Prof Rena Shah, an infectious disease expert at the hospital who is leading the study.
Currently, most HIV drug regimens consist of 3 different drugs that need to be taken orally daily.
“This study is looking at using a different way of taking the HIV medicine; using injections of two medicines given once every two months. These injected medicines have worked well in previous studies done in the USA, Europe, and South Africa but has not yet been evaluated in the rest of Africa,” added Prof Reena.
It is thought that taking medicine by injection will improve people’s lives because they no longer have to swallow medicines every day.
It is also expected to deal with the risk of forgetting to swallow pills and may improve the success of the HIV treatment.