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Courtesy of Midland Medical

Easier HIV Treatment is Here

By John Hayden

Better health may be more convenient than ever. People living with HIV/AIDS currently have to take at least one pill every day to remind them of their status. That means keeping their undetectable status can hurt their mental health.

Now Midland Medical is offering access to a new drug, Cabenuva, that only requires a treatment once a month. “We’re pretty excited right now,” Diana Gaytan told OutClique.  It’s an injection that can treat adults. It replaces their oral tablet. They would only need to get it once a month at an injection site, or up to two months, instead of taking the daily oral treatment.” As the clinical manager at Midland Medical Center in Oakland Park, FL, she sees first hand the impact this can make on patients.

Cabenuva is the first and only long-acting, complete HIV regimen you can take monthly or every other month. The drug company says it is given every other month or monthly by a healthcare provider as two injections, after you take about a month of once-daily starter pills. Your every other month regimen begins after two consecutive months of injections.

Gaytan says she or Midland Medical staff talks with all patients to make sure they can make their regular appointments for injections. “So far we’ve seen our patients that are getting the injectable are being very compliant.”

So far, in her experience, the patients who opt-in for Cabenuva with Midland Medical love it. “From what I’ve heard from our patients, the daily pill is a reminder of the mistake that they made and now have HIV. For them they now don’t have to take the pill. They love it. It’s fantastic.”

Cabenuva must be prescribed, and is only for HIV-positive patients who are undetectable. While the drug was approved last year, it wasn’t until 2022 that it was approved for once every other month. 

While South Florida is a ‘hot spots’ for new infections overall, the crisis is especially urgent for HIV-positive women, especially women of color. There is hope that Cabenuva and Midland Medical can spread the message of new treatments and erase the stigma attached with HIV/AIDS. “It is hard right now. A large part of the community that have HIV are latinos and African Americans,” Gaytan says. “There has to be a lot of outreach.”

If you are HIV-positive, doctors at Midland Medical are able to talk with you about Cabenuva to see if it’s the right treatment for you.