Once-a-week pill for HIV treatment developed

Testing is underway on a once-a-week capsule for HIV treatment, with the pill providing enough medicine to last a whole week. A benefit to this form of capsule would mean less chance patients forget to take the daily medication. It is also likely to improve the wellbeing of the patients given an improvement in adherence of treatment.

The development of the pill has shown promise in the animal testing stage, and is based of the current malaria medication available. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) designed a capsule that looks similar to a snowflake, with six arms packed with medication that folded in and were encased in a smooth coating.

There is difficulty in adapting this same design to HIV medication, however, as treatment is more complex than malaria, with multiple medications required at different intervals. If the design is adapted and works for HIV medication, researches at MIT believe it could also be adapted for PrEP.

Moving forward, it may still take awhile for the once-a-week-pill to be ready for human trial, but further research is underway, and several American national health institutes are supporting this promising treatment.

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