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This tiny implant could prevent HIV for a whole year



ounce of prevention

Today, people at high risk of HIV can take a daily drug called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). This may prevent them from getting infected with the virus – not unlike the daily contraceptive pill that can prevent pregnancy.

But just as some people have difficulty remembering to take their birth control pills everyday, there is a possibility that a person might forget to take their PrEP consistently, which makes it far less effective.

Global biopharmaceutical company Merck believes it has found a solution to this problem: an implant that will gradually deliver one-year HIV-preventive medicines and eliminate the need for daily pills.

Implant Strength

Merck's HIV implant is not too different from the many-preferred contraceptive implant. It is the size of a match and sits in the upper arm of a person just below the skin. On Tuesday, the company announced the results of a Phase 1

trial of the implant, which found it "well-tolerated" and effective in delivering an HIV-preventive drug.

Cautiously Optimistic [196] 59002] While the process involved only 12 men and lasted only 12 weeks, Merck said in a press release that the results encourage this.

Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which it was not Participation in the study is now cautiously optimistic.

"If – and I stress – in a larger study it comes out that it provides an ingredient that's protective for a year, that would be a cornerstone," he told the New York Times .

READ MORE: One day, an arm implant could prevent HIV infection for one year The New York Times

More on HIV: This pharmaceutical company is expected to begin HIV vaccine trials


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