Study findings presented this week at a major HIV conference show that taking a statin every day substantially reduces the chances of suffering a major adverse cardiovascular event in people living with HIV who have a low-to-moderate risk of cardiovascular disease. The findings were also published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Elri Voigt unpacks the study findings and asks what it might mean for people in South Africa.
In what is likely one of the largest treatment rollouts in South African history, well over four million people living with HIV have started taking the antiretroviral dolutegravir since its introduction around four years ago. Now, according to a recent study published in the Lancet medical journal, use of dolutegravir in South Africa is associated with more people staying on treatment and higher rates of viral suppression. Elri Voigt unpacks the study findings and assesses progress in the country’s switch to dolutegravir-based HIV treatment.
Obesity is a complicated public health issue that can be devastating on both the societal and the individual level. New weight loss medicines have shown remarkable efficacy in clinical trials, but their high cost is limiting uptake. Amy Green asks where these new medicines should fit into South Africa’s response to rising levels of obesity.
South Africa’s HIV testing programme has been a huge success over the last decade, largely due to the use of rapid tests. Now, the introduction of a new generation of rapid tests may offer some benefits over the current tests, but the picture is somewhat complicated and the Department of Health is not currently planning to use the new tests. Amy Green investigates.
The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority has authorised an injection containing the antiretroviral cabotegravir for use to prevent HIV infection, according to drugmaker ViiV Healthcare. Laura Lopez Gonzalez reports.
In 2019, the Department of Health started providing the antiretroviral drug dolutegravir as part of HIV treatment in the public sector. Three years later, close to 3.2 million people in South Africa are taking dolutegravir every day. Even so, the rollout of dolutegravir hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Elri Voigt investigates how the massive undertaking of switching millions of people to a new drug has gone.
One of the biggest breakthroughs in HIV treatment in the 1990s came when three different antiretrovirals were used together, suppressing viral replication in multiple ways and preventing the development of drug resistance. Now, trials are showing that certain combinations of just two antiretrovirals might be as good as three, potentially bringing an end to a quarter of a century of triple therapy dominance. Elri Voigt reports.