Experimental drug could replace daily pills
A drug given as a shot once every three months could replace a daily pill regimen to prevent HIV infection, new animal studies suggest.
In two trials of 28 monkeys, researchers gave one group shots of an experimental HIV-preventive drug, while the others received a placebo. The monkeys were exposed to HIV at a few different times during the trials. Those given the drug remained healthy; those who got the placebo were infected. The drug had a protective window of about 10 weeks.
Though the research is preliminary and has been tried only on monkeys, doctors hope it will lead to a medication that would need to be administered only once a quarter. Human trials could start in a matter of months, says Chasity Andrews, study author and a scientist with the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center at Rockefeller University in New York City.