Clinical Trials for Injectable ARVs in Kenya

HIV has been one of the biggest public health challenges since the first case was reported 35 years ago. Globally more than 78 million individuals have become infected with HIV and approximately 35 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses, according to UNAIDS, which is leading the global effort to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2020, around 1.5 million [1.0 million–2.0 million] people were newly infected with HIV and approximately 37.7 million [30.2 million–45.1 million] people globally were living with HIV, UNAIDS. Researchers have started a new clinical trial of 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.

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.


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