NC TraCS KL2 scholar leads collaboration with CDC that yields potential long-term HIV protection

Rahima Benhabbour is pictured in her lab on UNC-Chapel Hill campus with 'TraCS Researcher Success' across the bottom left
Rahima Benhabbour, former NC TraCS KL2 scholar, is pictured in her lab on UNC-Chapel Hill campus
Image Credit
graphic designed by Chad Henderson

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.

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