Evidence and Research for Cabotegravir (CAB-LA)

Research shows that CAB-LA is safe and effective and provides a longer-acting alternative to daily oral PrEP.

While both access and availability to oral PrEP has increased across the world in recent years, not everyone is able to take a daily pill as instructed.

CAB-LA is an alternative, injectable PrEP option. Efficacy data from phase III clinical studies (HPTN 083 and HPTN 084) show it is safe, well-tolerated, and effective. In MSM and transgender women there was a 66 percent reduction in HIV acquisition in study participants given CAB-LA compared to TDF/FTC and an 89 percent reduction in HIV acquisition in cisgender women.

Read below to find out more about:

Clinical Trial Evidence

HPTN 083

Conducted by the HIV Prevention Trials Network, HPTN 083 is comparing CAB-LA to daily oral PrEP. The study enrolled 4,570 cisgender MSM and TGW who have sex with men across 43 global sites in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, South Africa, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam. Researchers found about three times more incidence of HIV in the oral PrEP group than there were in the CAB-LA group.

HPTN 084

Also conducted by the HIV Prevention Trials Network, HPTN 084, compares CAB-LA to daily oral PrEP among cisgdender women. This study enrolled 3,224 women between the ages of 18 and 45, all of whom were at risk of acquiring HIV, from seven sub-Saharan African countries, including Botswana, Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Researchers found that CAB-LA was both safe and statistically superior to daily oral PrEP in this population, with an 89 percent reduction in HIV incidence among study participants given CAB-LA compared to daily oral PrEP. Of 38 total HIV infections in the study, only four occurred among women who were receiving cabotegravir.

For more information see AVAC’s Advocates’ Primer on Long-Acting Injectable Cabotegravir for PrEP.

chart of ongoing CAB-LA trials

Prevention options that mitigate or eliminate barriers to access are essential. Key populations, including MSM, TGW, FSW, and adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) need effective options that work and fit into their lives. Each HIV prevention option has unique characteristics, and individuals may prefer a particular PrEP method for any number of reasons. Ensuring informed choice is key. Injectable CAB-LA for PrEP is another strategy to help reduce HIV risk. For some people it will be the right one; for others, daily oral PrEP, the dapivirine vaginal ring or another non ARV-based approach will be right. Research and development have created new options; now advocacy is needed to make them viable choices for people who need and want them.

What can advocates do now? Check out AVAC’s Advocates Primer on CAB-LA for ways you can become engaged.