The device may be particularly helpful for people in sub-Saharan Africa, where the highest HIV and AIDS burden exists, Emilio Emini, director of the Gates Foundation’s HIV programs, said in a statement to The Huffington Post:
HIV continues to represent a substantial infectious disease burden, with some of the highest rates of infection among young people living in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently there is no effective HIV vaccine and anti-retroviral drugs that protect against HIV infection are only available in the form of a daily pill. Intarcia’s implantable Medici Drug Delivery System, which could be used to deliver long-acting anti-retroviral drugs, has the potential to solve current adherence challenges and help more people protect themselves from HIV infection.
HIV prevention medicine, which usually takes the form of a single daily pill, has revolutionized the way the world controls the spread of the incurable and potentially deadly virus. However, research shows that its effectiveness among different high-risk groups is mixed ― not for any biological reasons but because of social and cultural factors that get in the way of people and their medicine.