HIV remains a significant burden, despite expanding HIV prevention tools. Long-acting injectable cabotegravir (CAB-LA) is a new preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) product. We reviewed existing evidence to determine the efficacy and safety of CAB-LA as PrEP to inform global guidelines.
Systematic review and meta-analysis.
We systematically reviewed electronic databases and conference abstracts for citations on CAB-LA from January 2010 to September 2021. Outcomes included HIV infection, adverse events, drug resistance, pregnancy-related adverse events, and sexual behavior. We calculated pooled effect estimates using random-effects meta-analysis and summarized other results narratively.
We identified 12 articles/abstracts representing four multisite randomized controlled trials. Study populations included cisgender men, cisgender women, and transgender women. The pooled relative risk of HIV acquisition comparing CAB-LA to oral PrEP within efficacy studies was 0.21 (95% confidence interval: 0.07–0.61), resulting in a 79% reduction in HIV risk. Rates of adverse events were similar across study groups. Of 19 HIV infections among those randomized to CAB-LA with results available, seven had integrase strand transfer inhibitor (INSTI) resistance. Data on pregnancy-related adverse events were sparse. No studies reported on sexual behavior.
CAB-LA is highly efficacious for HIV prevention with few safety concerns. CAB-LA may lead to an increased risk of INSTI resistance among those who have acute HIV infection at initiation or become infected while taking CAB-LA. However, results are limited to controlled studies; more research is needed on real-world implementation. Additional data are needed on the safety of CAB-LA during pregnancy (for mothers and infants) and among populations not included in the trials.