NC TraCS KL2 scholar leads collaboration with CDC that yields potential long-term HIV protection
For people at high risk of contracting HIV, missing doses of their daily HIV prevention pills can have big consequences. In some cases, missing a pill can lead to lack of protection against the virus. Rahima Benhabbour, PhD, MSc, associate professor in the UNC & NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering and former NC TraCS KL2 scholar, and her lab have been working with a research team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 2017 to develop an injectable implant that can release HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medications into the body over a long period of time.
The team's latest research, published in Nature Communications, shows that their formulation can provide up to six months of full protection in non-human primates. The next step in their research is to adapt the technology for human use.