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US FDA Approves First Injectable Prevention Medication For HIV

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The first injectable HIV prevention medication has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Apretude, a new drug, is given to patients every two months via injection. Prior to the approval, there were only two types of HIV prevention medication that were approved. Truvada and Descovy are both oral medications that must be taken once daily.

Apretude, on the other hand, is injected every other month, which distinguishes it from existing medications Truvada and Descovy, which are taken orally once a day. It is also $3,700 per dose.

Apretude was found to be significantly more effective than Truvada in lowering the risk of transmission among cisgender men and transgender women who have sex with men (69%), particularly among cisgender women (90 percent).

Daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medications, like daily oral birth control or hepatitis C medication, must be taken fairly consistently in order to be effective. A long-lasting injectable could be revolutionary for some people who struggle to stick to a daily medication schedule for a variety of reasons, including chaotic drug use or being homeless.

The FDA believes that approving Apretude will be the next step toward effectively ending the HIV epidemic.

Apretude is administered in two one-month-apart injections, followed by two two-month injections. Patients have the option of receiving only Apretude or taking the oral medication Vocabria to see how their bodies react to the drug.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using PrEP reduces the risk of contracting HIV from sex by 99 percent and the risk of infection from injection drug use by at least 74%. However, strict adherence to daily medication is critical for reaping the protective benefits.

PrEP medications work by inhibiting an enzyme that allows the HIV virus to replicate within the human body. Truvada was approved in 2012, and Descovy was approved in 2019 for people who do not have vaginal tissue. When used as directed, they can provide approximately 99 percent protection against HIV transmission through sex and approximately 80 percent protection against HIV transmission through injection drug use.

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Southampton End Man City’s 12-Match Winning Run

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Manchester City’s 12-point lead at the top of the Premier League is above Pep Guardiola’s expectations, despite surrendering points for the first time since October as Southampton clung on for a hard-earned draw at St Mary’s.

City had won 12 games in a row to build a significant lead over Liverpool and Chelsea before that streak came to an end on Saturday.

Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters opened the scoring in the seventh minute after a lovely one-two with Nathan Redmond, tapping the ball into his path before blasting past Ederson on the bounce.

With 25 minutes remaining, Kevin de Bruyne curled a free-kick into the head of Aymeric Laporte, and the unmarked defender nodded beyond Fraser Forster.

Moments later, De Bruyne hit the post, while Rodri and Gabriel Jesus also hit the crossbar. Raheem Sterling was also denied by Forster’s legs at close range from a great chance in the first half.

“I feel, as a manager, confident for the future with the way we are behaving,” Guardiola told BBC Sport.

“Without the ball, everybody helps each other. I know how difficult this stadium is, with the way they play and how good we have played.”

The result gives a flicker of hope to City’s rivals, who can both make up ground when they play on Sunday, though Guardiola says even if his side had won, the title race is “not over in January”.

Second-placed Liverpool have two games in hand before their visit to Crystal Palace while Chelsea, in third, host Tottenham.

“Sometimes it’s difficult for me to understand how, to drop points after one good performance, for them to say that now the race is open, when before it’s over,” added Guardiola.

“I would love in January to be 40 points in front of teams like Liverpool and Chelsea, the big rivals. But in January it is impossible.

“I would say I didn’t expect to be in this position with this margin. It’s not big, but it’s OK.”

Southampton, who are now unbeaten in eight games at home in the top flight, sit 12th in the table.

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EPL: Late Rashford Strike Stuns West Ham And Puts Man Utd Fourth

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Marcus Rashford scored the winner with virtually the last kick of the game as Manchester United leapfrogged West Ham into the Premier League’s top four.

It seemed certain to be another frustrating afternoon for the hosts, who were stifled by the Hammers’ organisation and otherwise came no closer than Fred’s second-half effort that was saved by Alphonse Areola.

But with less than 30 seconds of the three minutes of injury time remaining, United broke and in a move that involved all three substitutes, Edinson Cavani held his run to remain onside as he collected Anthony Martial’s short pass before rolling a cross to the far post, where it was converted by Rashford.

The result was harsh on the Hammers. In a game of few chances, Jarrod Bowen drove a shot into the side-netting before Tomas Soucek’s glancing header bounced just wide of the far post with four minutes remaining.

But Rashford had the final word as United secured back-to-back wins for the first time under Ralf Rangnick.

The result takes United into the top four for the first time in three months, with the Hammers dropping down to fifth, although Tottenham and Arsenal could overtake them if they win their games on Sunday.

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Bogoso Explosion: Truck Driver, Motorcyclist And Police Escort Still Alive : Police

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The Ghana Police Service has responded to queries about the whereabouts of the driver of the truck that exploded near Bogoso in the Western Region on Thursday.

According to the Director-General of the Police Public Affairs Department, ACP Kwesi Ofori the driver is alive.

In addition to this confirmation, he said the motorcycle rider whose collision with the truck sparked the fire that triggered the blast is also alive, just as the police escort assigned to the truck.

Speaking on Citi FM, ACP Kwesi Ofori said the Tarkwa Divisional Police duly signed and approved a police escort for the truck which was transporting explosives to Chirano Gold Mines.

The police officer has since been interrogated and provided relevant information to the police on what happened.

“The police administration will like to place on record that the vehicle in question was under escort and documents were prepared and given to the escort team to escort the product to its destination. It was properly signed by the Tarkwa Divisional Police and there is no foul play at all…The police officer has been interrogated and has given his opinion on the matter,” ACP Kwesi Ofori explained.

Following the Thursday afternoon incident, many different accounts have been given including claims that the driver and the motorcyclist had died.

Others also claimed that there was no security escort for the transport of the explosives.

But according to ACP Kwesi Ofori, the police escort, motorcyclist and truck driver all survived the deadly incident.

He said the driver, together with the police escort helped to reduce the number of casualties by warning nearby residents including school pupils in a school to move away due to the imminent explosion.

“When the incident took place, the police officer quickly alerted those around the scene that there is a likelihood that there would be an explosion. When the accident occurred, it took about 15 to 20 minutes before the first explosion. The police quickly with the driver tried as much as possible to tell the onlookers to leave the place. Some heeded others didn’t. The first occurred and the second explosion ravaged the town and the village where a lot of destruction took place,” ACP Kwesi Ofori added.

“The driver, the police officer and the motor rider are all alive because they heeded to the advice,” he noted.

Meanwhile, at least 13 people have been confirmed dead with 59 others badly injured.

Over 170 families were directly affected by the incident.

Meanwhile, the Vice President, on behalf of the government visited the Bogoso Catholic Parish Relief Centre where over 300 of the displaced persons are being catered for and donated mattresses, bags of rice as well as GH¢200,000 for the upkeep of survivors.

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