HIV treatments – where we are today and what’s next: Despite the ambitious 2020 goals set by UNAIDS 90-90-90 not being reached, innovative HIV treatments – from preventative to curative – are just around the corner and key to the success in eradicating the HIV epidemic that has killed more than 39 million people worldwide.
In a new whitepaper, The evolution of HIV treatments: From PrEP to vaccines, where we are today and what’s next, experts from ICON plc, a leading global contract research organization, explain the challenges and explore the solutions to ending the AIDS epidemic.
The aims of 90-90-90 included 90 percent of all people living with HIV having access to antiretroviral therapy, and 90 percent of those receiving therapy achieving viral suppression.
ICON has run clinical trials for many ground breaking treatments in HIV, including PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), and new types of ‘mosaic’-based vaccines – molecules capable of inducing an immune response to a wide variety of strains of HIV.
Other innovative approaches that ICON has been at the centre of include a new investigational vaccine that administers messenger RNA (mRNA) that “injects” instructions for making viral proteins to stimulate an immune response.
Running HIV trials requires new and creative approaches, to combat stigma and reflect the diverse cultural, lifestyle and biological circumstances that influence individual decision-making around the use of HIV prevention strategies.
Examples include programmes using digital technologies already embedded in people’s lives. In sub-Saharan countries, clinical trials have used text messaging to engage women in HIV prevention treatment. In the U.S. P3 (Prepared, Protected, emPowered), an interactive smartphone app used game mechanics and social networking features to improve PrEP adherence, retention in PrEP clinical care, and PrEP persistence among young men who have sex with men and young trans women who have sex with men, ages 16-24.
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