HTB: no. 11 now online (November 2021)

This issue contains more coverage from the EACS 2021 conference held as a hybrid meeting in London last month.

We include the important news that long-acting cabotegravir/rilpivirine (CAB/RPV-LA) injectable ART has just been approved by NICE for use in England and Wales. This follows approval in Scotland last month.

This is an important signal that new drugs will still be made available, even if they are more expensive that other current ART. Although actual drug prices are not public – only list prices are published in the BNF – CAB/RPV-LA is likely to be close to higher priced non-generic combinations, such as Biktarvy (bictegravir/F/TAF). It will certainly be higher than combinations using generic ARVs.

Unfortunately, we also include the disappointing news about the stopped development of the NNRTI MK-8507. This is due to unexpected reductions in total lymphocyte and CD4 counts. The press release also refers to a signal that something similar might be linked to islatravir. Other islatravir studies are all continuing – both for treatment and prevention – but with closer monitoring.

Good news about a new oral history project from CHIVA for young people to record their experiences of living with HIV from birth.

And just in time for World AIDS Day, news of the third IAS report of a Global Scientific Strategy to develop an HIV cure. Published with open access in Nature Medicine, this comprehensive review covers more than 170 recent studies and is recommended reading.

i-Base have posted an easy-to-read Q&A version online that is less technical. This will hopefully be a way for most people living with HIV to learn about exciting developments for a cure.