Brian Woodfall, MD, discusses how long-acting injectables offer a new treatment option for patients with HIV in terms of long-term therapy.
Segment Description: Brian Woodfall, MD, global head of development at Janssen, discusses how long-acting injectables offer a new treatment option for patients with HIV in terms of long-term therapy.
Contagion®: Can you explain what long acting injectable can bring to the world of HIV?
Dr. Woodfall: So, long-acting injectables offer a new treatment option for patients in terms of their long-term therapy. We know that currently, with our HIV treatment, therapy is life-long. Patients will need to have continual viral suppression throughout their life to maintain health, avoid immunosuppression, and avoid opportunistic infections, for example.
Certain patient types and attributes of adherence in terms of lifestyle, may not always fit well with daily, oral regimens that need to be taken at a very high rate of adherence to be fully effective. So, for those patients who may have problems with adherence, an injectable that only needs to be given once a month — or maybe once every 2 months when we see further data coming out on the injectable treatments – would be an option for those patients which may provide an opportunity to have better overall treatment in the long run.
I think the other thing that we know is that in some places, taking oral treatment every day for HIV can raise stigma issues; it’s a daily reminder of the infection, and depending on the social situation it could be a real stigma inducing item. So, long-acting injectables can potentially remove that stigma from some people. Again, it’s very important for individuals to have important treatment options to see what works best for them. To have an infrequent injectable option alongside daily oral dosing really will give patients more choices that are able to fit their lifestyles for the long term.