The gel releases a steady dose of the anti-HIV drug lamivudine over six weeks, suggesting people living with HIV could have new therapy that doesn't require a daily pill regimen to prevent AIDS. "This new molecular design shows us a future in which drug hydrogelation can do that to improve HIV treatment." For people living with HIV, the key is maintaining bloodstream drug levels at concentrations that suppress virus load in the body. Because lamivudine is an FDA-approved drug to treat HIV and hepatitis B, the researchers said the hydrogel could also help manage hepatitis B. "One of the drawbacks of the approved injectable HIV treatments is that none have activity against hepatitis B virus, which is a common co-infection with HIV, especially in Asia and Africa.