Dur­ban re­searchers spear­head HIV break­through

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - METRO -

AHEAD of World Aids Day yes­ter­day, a Dur­ban re­search fa­cil­ity an­nounced a ma­jor break­through in pre­vent­ing new in­fec­tions, which is just months away from hu­man tri­als.

The Cen­tre for the Aids Pro­gramme of Re­search in SA (Caprisa) has done tri­als on an­i­mals us­ing a match­stick­sized im­plant con­tain­ing teno­fovir alafe­namide, a more po­tent ver­sion of the ARV drug teno­fovir.

Pro­fes­sor Salim Ab­dool Karim, of Caprisa’s sci­en­tific ad­vi­sory board, said they had pre­vi­ously showed that the drug pro­tected women from be­ing in­fected with HIV if used in a gel form. How­ever, the gel was dif­fi­cult to use. And al­though teno­fovir was avail­able in tablets, it was dif­fi­cult for young women to take them ev­ery day, he said.

“We are now tak­ing teno­fovir alafe­namide and putting this in an im­plant. We took the idea from the con­tra­cep­tive im­plant.” |

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