Research is advancing by improving available HIV treatments pending a definitive vaccine

The latest data from United Nations, indicate that 1.5 million people were infected with the virus in 2021. The like it and related diseases, have killed 40.1 million people worldwide since its inception. On the positive side, it should be noted that the number of diagnoses continues to decrease year after year, but despite this, it is still there significantly affects some populations with risky behaviors

The latest figures from the United Nations indicate that 1.5 million people were infected with the virus in 2021.

The latest data published by the Ministry of Health in Spain show, for example, that the group of men who have sex with men It accounted for 55.2% of new diagnoses in 2020. This is followed by heterosexual transmission, which accounted for 27.5%, and that of relapse to people who inject drugs (PID), which reached 2.4%. Thus, 82.7% of new HIV diagnoses in 2020 were sexual transmission.

Vaccine

Currently, people living with HIV must take the daily antiretroviral treatment, as their immune system is unable to control the virus on its own.

Now, the clinical trial results of the HTI therapeutic HIV vaccine from AELIX Therapeutix confirm that 40% of participants who were part of the therapeutic study and received the vaccine control this virus better when antiretroviral treatment is temporarily suspended than those who were not given the serum. This fact shows that the vaccine can educate the immune system to improve the response against the virus.

“The positive results of this study demonstrate that it is possible to induce an immune response in a person living with HIV and thereby allow the virus to be suppressed in the absence of antiretroviral drugs.”

“The positive results of this test show that it is possible to induce a immune response to an HIV-positive person and thus allow the virus to be suppressed in the absence of antiretroviral drugs”, comments the doctor Beatrice Motherresearcher of Infection Fight Foundation and principal investigator of the study.

injectable treatment

The treatment of Cabotegravir + rilpivirine, which was developed jointly by two pharmaceutical companies, ViiV Healthcare and Janssen, becomes the first long-acting treatment for HIV thanks to an intramuscular injection given once every two months. Thus, this new drug will allow patients to avoid taking a daily pill, because they can replace it with this intramuscular injection.

Long-acting cabotegravir + rilpivirine bases the mechanism of action on a new system of nanoparticles or nanocrystals which, after administration via intramuscular injectionar, the drug is gradually released into the body, maintaining the efficacy of the drug for 2 monthswhen they need to be re-administered.

Cabotegravir + rilpivirine treatment, developed by ViiV Healthcare and Janssen, becomes the first long-acting treatment for HIV through intramuscular injection.

“There are still some challenges with taking antiretroviral drugs that can be solved with this new treatment. For example, it would be the case with all aspects related to quality of life, confidentiality, stigma or the need to adhere to medications to control the infection and avoid transmission to other people,” says the doctor Eugenia Negredohead of the HIV section of the German Trias hospital in Badalona and of the Foundation for the fight against infections.

This treatment will be available in Spanish state hospitals starting in December.

PrEP

The use of PrEP for prevent the transmission of HIV It has been implemented in many countries and has proven to be a very effective tool that can save money in the healthcare system. PrEP is an antiretroviral drug that people who don’t have HIV take to prevent infection.

The use of PrEP to prevent HIV transmission has been implemented in many countries and has proven to be a very effective tool.

According to the latest data available, there are approximately 14,000 people in Spain who use PrEP. In Catalonia alone there are more than 6,500, of which 3,000 receive it at the BCN Checkpoint.

A cost-effectiveness study conducted by the Fight Against Infections Foundation, in collaboration with the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute (center jointly sponsored by “la Caixa” Foundation and the Department of Health of the Generalitat de Catalunya), the German hospital Trias i Pujol, the iSalut Economics Research Center (CRES) of the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), the NOMS-Hispanosida project and BCN Checkpoint calculated the potential savings that the widespread use of HIV preventive treatment (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, PrEP) could generate in the public health system.

“Knowing the very high efficacy of PrEP, the current challenge is to facilitate access to all people who could benefit from it, eliminating the barriers that still exist to receive it”.

Taking into account that HIV-positive people live on average about 40 years from the moment of diagnosis, the public system would save 93 million euros in that period thanks to the use of PrEP. “Knowing the very high efficacy of PrEP, the current challenge is to facilitate access to all people who could benefit from it, eliminating the barriers that still exist to receive it. In this sense, it should be noted that there are currently waiting lists, which means that there are people at risk and that HIV infections that would be preventable could occur,” explains Dr. Pep Coll, Chief Medical Officer at BCN Checkpoint.

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