HIV medication will soon be available in a strawberry-flavored, dissolvable tablet for kids

HIV medication will soon be available in a strawberry-flavored, dissolvable tablet for kids
Irene Jiang/Business Insider
  • Dolutegravir, an HIV medication, will soon be sold in an easily dissolved, strawberry-flavored tablet for children.
  • Oftentimes, taste and difficulty swallowing can be a large factor in determining how often a child takes their HIV medication and how effective the treatment is.

A children's form of HIV medication that could be easier to take will soon be available as part of a partnership between the Clinton Health Access Initiative and several pharmaceutical companies.

Dolutegravir, a leading HIV medication, will go on sale as a strawberry-flavored dissolvable tablet for $36 a year. Typically coming in a difficult-to-swallow pill form, the medication will now be far easier for the 160,000 children infected with HIV every year to use.

The tablet can be used for babies one-month-old and older, so other HIV medication is still necessary for newborns.
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Oftentimes, HIV medications taste unpleasant, which can affect how effective childrens' treatment is and how often they are able to take their medicine.

"This is truly an advance," said Dr. Elaine J. Abrams, chief of pediatrics for ICAP, told the New York Times. "The products currently available for pediatric treatment are less than optimal. There have been a few new formulations, but they haven't been as successful as anticipated."

The World Health Organization also recently approved a silicone vaginal ring to reduce the spread of HIV, meaning the ring meets global standards for safety and quality.
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The dapivirine ring can be worn by people with vaginas by inserting it into the vaginal canal every month, as it slowly releases dapivirine, an anti-viral medication.

It is discreet, so it can be worn during intercourse with a partner, which can help circumnavigate the stigma that can come with HIV prevention. "Our aim is to make the ring available first in sub-Saharan Africa, where women face persistently high HIV risk," Dr. Zeda F. Rosenberg, founder and chief executive officer of International Partnership for Microbicides, said in a press release.
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