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Efficacy and Freedom: Patient Experiences with the Transition from Daily Oral to Long-Acting Injectable Antiretroviral Therapy to Treat HIV in the Context of Phase 3 Trials

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Abstract

Long-acting injectable antiretroviral therapy (LA ART) may be an alternative for people living with HIV (PLHIV) with adherence challenges or who prefer not to take pills. Using in-depth interviews, this study sought to understand the experiences of PLHIV (n = 53) participating in Phase 3 LA ART trials in the United States and Spain. The most salient consideration when contemplating LA ART was its clinical efficacy; many participants reported wanting to ensure that it worked as well as daily oral ART, including with less frequent dosing (every 8 versus 4 weeks). While injection side effects were often reported, most participants felt that regimen benefits outweighed such drawbacks. Participants described the main benefit of LA ART as the “freedom” it afforded both logistically and psychosocially, including through reduced HIV stigma. Findings highlight the importance of patient-provider communication related to weighing potential benefits and side effects and the continued need to address HIV stigma.

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Acknowledgements

This study was funded by ViiV Healthcare. We thank everyone who has contributed to the success of this study including all study participants and their families, clinical investigators and their staff in Spain, and the USA; and ViiV Spain Medical Scientific Liaisons (Beatriz Pereira, Ramón Almansa-Fernández, David Suarez Fábregas, Marta Rosell-Fontanet and Silvia Esteban Sánchez), Pilar Moliner Domenech (GSK local Study Manager) and Carlos Martin Español (GSK Clinical Study Manager), and from PPD, Blanca Galobart de los Reyes, Inmaculada Escudero Pablos, Itziar Yagüe Muñoz, Rocío Molina Fernández-Bravo, Evangelina Alonso Alzaga, Ricardo Plaza Cacho and Patricia López Belmonte and JHD staff.

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Mantsios, A., Murray, M., Karver, T.S. et al. Efficacy and Freedom: Patient Experiences with the Transition from Daily Oral to Long-Acting Injectable Antiretroviral Therapy to Treat HIV in the Context of Phase 3 Trials. AIDS Behav 24, 3473–3481 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-020-02918-x

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