The Food and Drug Administration Approves Apretude for HIV Prophylaxis

South Africa has done a lot to reduce the stigma of HIV, including providing vending machines that dispense prescription drugs and self-test kits. Fortunately, now, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Apretude.

While the drug has received approval in the U.S, it is still awaiting approval in South Africa, one of the African countries most affected by HIV.

Apretude is an injectable drug

Apretude is an injectable HIV drug for high-risk children and adults at least 70 pounds. The drug is offered as pre-exposure prophylaxis to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. Unlike other prophylaxis drugs, Apretude does not require an individual to take pills daily.

For Apretude, the healthcare professional gives two injections one month apart to the patient. Inoculations then follow this dose every two months after that. Initially, the patient takes Apretude for about four weeks to evaluate how they can handle it.

The FDA tested the safety of Apretude

The FDA conducted studies to test the efficacy and safety of Apretude compared to Truvada, which is a pill taken daily. For the first trial, the regulator used males and transgender women who have sex with men and were at high risk of contracting the virus due to their behavior. The second study looked at his gender women who were prone to infection.

Apretude produced side effects for the volunteers. These include rash, fever, back pain, and fatigue. The FDA warned that people shouldn’t use the drug if an HIV-negative test was not seen. Instead, healthcare providers would only give it to people they confirmed as negative.

There could be more good news as scientists recently found a potential vaccine against HIV. The vaccine used mRNA technology. Scientists have also employed this technology in the COVID-19 vaccine.

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and Scripps Research conducted a clinical trial in Seattle and Washington DC on the vaccine. They used 48 healthy adults for the trials and found that the vaccine successfully produces immune cells that stimulate antibodies and prevent HIV mutation. 

The researchers could replicate these results in about 97% of the participants.

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