Monthly shots control HIV as well as pills in 2 big studies

This electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health shows a human T cell, in blue, under attack by HIV, in yellow, the virus that causes AIDS. The virus specifically targets T cells, which play a critical role in the body's immune response against invaders like bacteria and viruses. Colors were added by the source. On Thursday, March 6, 2019, researchers reported that monthly shots of HIV drugs worked as well as daily pills to control the virus that causes AIDS in two large international tests. (Seth Pincus, Elizabeth Fischer, Austin Athman/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH via AP)

Studies find monthly shots of HIV drugs worked as well as daily pills to control the virus that causes AIDS

SEATTLE — Two large international studies find monthly shots of HIV drugs worked as well as daily pills to control the virus that causes AIDS.

Drugmakers are seeking approval later this year in the United States and Europe. If approved, the shots would be a new option for people with HIV and could help some stay on treatment. Results were discussed Thursday at a conference in Seattle.

It's unclear how must the injections would cost. Experts say that will affect who will be able to get the shots.

And there will be concerns about patients missing a monthly shot, which could lead to drug-resistant strains of the virus.

The shots are a long-acting combo of two HIV drugs — one made by Janssen, and one by ViiV Healthcare, which sponsored the research.

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