Young people would be interested in using long-acting antiretrovirals, provided any injections they have to receive are administered infrequently, a survey published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes found.
Researchers asked 303 people under the age of 24 who received care at pediatric/adolescent HIV clinics in the U.S. about two hypothetical treatment options: intramuscular injections and subcutaneous implants. Overall, 88% said they would probably or definitively use the injectable form and 79% were interested in the implantable version.
The less frequent the injections, the higher the interest in that treatment option: 90% would get one shot every three months, but only 50% would want weekly injections, with monthly injections the threshold for definitely wanting to try this treatment modality.
Participants with high viral loads (>1,000 copies/mL) were more receptive to long-acting treatment options compared to those who were virally suppressed (prevalence ratio 1.12). The former group may have trouble adhering to daily oral treatment, study authors hypothesized.
"In sum, youth aged 13 to 24 years who are struggling to adhere to oral daily medications are a vulnerable niche population in whom [long-acting antiretrovirals] could serve as a critical strategy to improve clinical outcomes," they concluded.