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Coming Soon to a Butt Near You: Injectable PrEP

New PrEP option expected to receive FDA approval by February

Jason A. Michael

The burden of taking a daily dose of PrEP might soon be lifted. According to updated CDC guidelines, bi-monthly injectable PrEP is expected to receive FDA approval by February. The injectable cabotegravir (CAB) would join Truvada and Descovy as a third, pill-free PrEP option. 

"I think any new PrEP option is always a good idea," said Drake Collins, a prevention specialist with Corktown Health. "The more options we have, especially when we're talking about the modes of intake, the way of actually taking the medication and getting into our systems, is helpful."

According to David Ponsart, M-HIPP program manager for Matrix Health Services, it's more than just helpful.

"From a public health standpoint, long-acting injectable PrEP has the potential to change the prevention landscape for HIV," Ponsart said. "When requiring daily dosing in order to be effective, there's always the human error factor." He said the new format may entice clients who haven't used PrEP because of privacy issues, as well. 

The option would benefit people who have trouble remembering to take a pill daily, those who have difficulty taking medications and those who can't risk leaving a medicine bottle of an HIV prevention drug lying around.

"I think particularly for younger patients who maybe have never taken a daily medication before, this is probably going to be most beneficial to them," said Collins. "Also, for people who just don't have a safe space to store medications, for whatever reason, this way they won't have anything physically in their house that might cause problems for their living situation."

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