Someday, an Arm Implant May Prevent H.I.V. Infection for a Year
In preliminary tests, a matchstick-size rod containing a new drug offered promise as a shield against the virus. But a large clinical trial must still be done.
The world needs a new preventive method to element the AIDS epidemic. Seventy-five million people have contracted the lethal virus since the outbreak began. Even today, about 1.7 million people are infected each year, despite people being told to take a daily pill that prevents infection.
37 million people worldwide live with HIV
Number of people living with HIV by world Health Organization region (Millions)
The implant: It’s a plastic tube the size of a matchstick that slowly releases an anti-HIV drug. It placed under the skin of the arm. HIV prevention: Even if you don’t have the virus, taking anti-HIV drugs daily, can stop you from getting infected.
The device is the same scale as a birth-control implant, which would deliver a new antiretroviral drug, islatavir CreditCreditMerck.
The device is unusual in many respects, is it can be removed if there are side effects or HIV infection.
Merck’s innovation is to deliver its new antiretroviral drug, islatravir with proven technology use for some time for birth control.
The matchstick-sized plastic rod inserted just under the skin of the upper arm that slowly releases tiny doses of the medication.
However, participants cannot just be given the implant and told to go out and have sex or inject drugs. Ethically, they have to provide with the best prevention methods available, including oral PrEP, condoms, clean syringes, and intensive counseling about sex or safe drug use.
That means many subjects must be followed for years to see if the implant works better than other methods.
Medical software applications are getting smarter at diagnosing peoples health problems. Now software engineers have designed a new algorithm that can predict if a patient is likely to be infected with HIV.
The algorithm uses patient medical historical records to predict if the patient is likely to be infected with the HIV virus.
This algorithm could assist doctors in identifying these patients and then prescribed the right daily medication to prevent infection, a strategy known as Per-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).
Note: PrEP is a drug taken by HIV-negative people before sex that reduces the risk of getting HIV. … Taking PrEP before being exposed to HIV means there’s enough drug inside you to block HIV if it gets into your body.
Scientists believe these results. Show that it is possible to identify people at high risk correctly. By examining the personal HIV medical data records stored on the application software.
However, researchers know they must be careful about the way they use data stored on computers. Because having software that suggests a patient is a person who too frequently has unsafe sex and risks HIV infection.
Doctors will need to explain the results and initiate a conversation about a patient’s sexual health with understanding and delicacy.
Acknowledgments & references
The research was described on Tuesday at an international AIDS conference in Mexico City. Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC, a global advocacy group for the prevention of HIV. Merck is planning a phase 2 study to test the drug and delivery system in a larger, more diverse cohort. Of the 16 trial participants, two were women, none were transgender, and all were white.