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The fight against HIV is set to receive a major boost if the monthly pill, whose trials Kenyan women will participate in, is proven effective.

Islatravir pill is taken once per month to prevent HIV transmissions through sex and has been termed as a game changer if its efficacy is proven.

If the results of the trials turn positive, Islatravir is likely to replace Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) which is taken daily. Studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99 per cent when taken daily.

The third phase of the trial will involve 4,000 healthy, HIV-uninfected women aged 16-45, from across 21 African sites in South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The enrolment of women who will participate in the trial started early July.

Global health researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have received a Sh12.2 billion ($122 million) grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to test the effectiveness of Islatravir.

Islatravir is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase translocation inhibitor in development by Merck for the treatment and prevention of HIV-1 infection.