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Uganda finalising clinical trials on new injectable HIV drug

Published on 09/03/20 at 09:51am
U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Marie Montez

Uganda is preparing to enter the final stages of developing a new HIV treatment to reduce stigma and discrimination of those living with the disease.

The Uganda Aids Commission is finalising clinical trials on an injectable version of a treatment, which the government is planning to unveil in 2021.

Dr Neslon Musoba told people gathered in Kampala, who were commemorating Zero Discrimination Day, that the treatment will reduce discrimination of those with HIV. He said: “Research is in advanced stages on the injectable treatment for HIV that patients will take one dose after every eight weeks. This new treatment comes with a lot of relief and convenience."

According to the 2019 Stigma Index, up to 21% of men and 20% of women do not take their HIV medication due to fear of people finding out they have the disease and subsequently discriminating against them because of it.

The injectable treatment is also being designed to replace the current pills sufferers take. Currently, a person living with HIV has to take more than two different tablets at different times in the day. The injectable would not require as many dosages which helps reduce human error in taking medication, helping to stop the spread of the disease.

Uganda aims to end the prevalence of HIV as a major public health threat by 2030. In 2018, an estimated 1.4 million Ugandans were living with HIV, and about 23,000 died of AIDS related illnesses.

Conor Kavanagh

 

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