Bill Gates Will Finance Medication Against HIV

One of the objectives of the foundation from one of the wealthiest man in the world, has been to find new treatments against HIV. This is why, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will work with MSD Pharmaceutical to finance the study of a medication that can be used before exposure to HIV in order to prevent the infection.

This type of treatment, known as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), has proven to have important results in groups of the population who are especially at risk of getting the virus, such as men who have sex with other men (MSM), transgender women, women and young girls. And, this last group is the one which the investigation will be focused on.

The study, called IMPOWER 22, will test a new substance, known with the name islatravir, administered once a month to adult women and teenagers from some countries in southern Africa, a region in which it is they who are more exposed to getting HIV, through heterosexual relationships which happen at an early age. Also, we have to remember that at a global level, almost half of new HIV infections occur in women.

The test, in which the University of Washington from the United States also participates, will start in 2021 and will focus on the results that can be obtained with islatravir, medication that is administered orally and only once a month, unlike other PrEP schemes which must be taken daily. 

For this collaboration, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will provide financing through scholarships for investigative personnel from the International Clinical Research Center from the University of Washington, Department of Global Health. Meanwhile, the test centers in sub-Saharan Africa will recruit and follow up on the participating women. The role of MSD Pharmaceutical is to promote the test, provide the medication and obtain the regulatory approvals so that everything may be carried out, aside from monitoring and notifying obtained data.