Prism Health North Texas

The Future is Injectable

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If you were offered tomorrow’s medicine today, would you take it?

You’re probably thinking “yes” as long as it’s safe today.

Clinical Research at Prism Health North Texas brings tomorrow’s care to today. Visiting the department or participating in one of the current clinical studies gives you a sneak peak, a pull-back-the-curtain experience of the treatment options that could be coming to people in the future.

Just for you, we took a trip to the future – and, you may not believe us when you learn what is being worked on…

The future of HIV medication treatment is…injectable. 

“[I am most excited about] the burden it will take off the patient to not have to dose a medication each and every day. This is new, exciting, and convenient for them. This could motivate them to come to their appointments and become more engaged in their health.” – Lauren Rogers.

Long-acting injectable HIV treatment is being researched right now at clinical research sites around the globe. The research staff at Prism Health North Texas is excited that they will soon have the opportunity to be participating in clinical trials examining long-acting injectable medications for HIV treatment.   The two medications currently being studied are Cabotegravir and Rilpivirine (which is currently approved as an oral medication). 

Why is long-acting injectable HIV treatment so exciting?

Long-acting injectable HIV treatment is exciting because of the barriers to adherence it can eliminate as well as the convenience it may offer patients.  Receiving monthly injections will eliminate having to remember to take a daily pill.   For some people, taking their medication causes anxiety because it is a daily reminder of their health concerns and it could offer individuals a sense of normalcy that they don’t experience with having to take a pill every day.  These upcoming studies will offer people living with HIV a unique opportunity to try long-acting injectable medications.   These studies will be recruiting two different patient populations.

  • Study #1: people who virally suppressed and are good about keeping their doctor appointments.
  • Study #2: people who have trouble keeping medical appointments or taking their HIV medication and will also include adherence and retention support via integrated support.

Integrated care is a familiar concept at Prism Health North Texas – it’s where the patient’s health goals are achieved by supporting their medical, social, and psychosocial needs. For example, Jaiden is in a checkup with a provider. He is not currently virally suppressed or “undetectable” because, as he tells his provider, he has been waiting to get his prescription refilled until his new job’s benefits kick in. He hopes they’ll be affordable. In a non-integrated care model, the “why” behind a situation is not addressed. However, in an integrated care model the “why” is addressed, and in this example Jaiden is provided with medication to tide him over until his benefits begin.

“The study addressing non-adherence will require the use of motivational interviewing to encourage people to identify for themselves barriers to adherence and solutions to improve their behavior around attending appointments and/or taking their medicine.” Lauren Rogers, Clinical Research Manager, shared, “We recently received training to learn how to perform this type of interview.  It will be interesting to see if this intervention helps patients establish a better routine.  Hopefully, we can really get at the heart of the non-adherence and lead the patient to be more engaged in their care.”

These studies should be enrolling by start of 2019.


About the team:
Clinical Research at PHNTX began in the early 2000s. Prism Health North Texas is a member of the National Institute of Health’s AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) and as such has been participating in clinical trials since 2007.   The program currently has patients participating in clinical trials studying medications for HIV treatments, prevention, and for different HIV-related health areas (such as HIV and aging, HIV and cardiovascular health, HIV-related neurocognitive disorder).