Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about CABENUVA


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CABENUVA is a different kind of HIV treatment, so you may have different kinds of questions. That’s perfectly OK. Below are answers to some things that may be on your mind.

Learning about CABENUVA

  • What is CABENUVA?

    CABENUVA is the first and only long-acting, complete HIV regimen you can get monthly or every other month, instead of daily HIV pills.

    CABENUVA is given by a healthcare provider as 2 injections, initially 1 month apart for 2 months. It's important to attend all appointments.

    Learn more about CABENUVA.

  • What does “undetectable HIV” mean?

    Undetectable means the amount of HIV in the blood is below the level that can be measured by a lab test (less than 50 copies/mL).

  • Do I have to be undetectable to get CABENUVA?

    CABENUVA is approved for people 12 years and older and weighing at least 77 lbs (35 kg) to replace their current HIV-1 medicines in those who are undetectable. Talk to your doctor to see if CABENUVA could be right for you.

  • Can CABENUVA keep me undetectable?

    CABENUVA is clinically proven to help keep people undetectable for up to 2 months, depending on the treatment plan. Results may vary.

    To help stay undetectable, it's important to keep your planned appointments and stick to your treatment plan.

    Long-acting CABENUVA contains 2 medicines that slowly release over time to keep around the same level of medicine in your body between appointments.

    See the CABENUVA clinical study results.

  • How long has CABENUVA been around?

    Once-monthly CABENUVA was approved by the FDA in 2021 as the first long-acting, complete HIV regimen. In 2022, it was also approved to be given once every other month.

  • What medicines make up CABENUVA?

    CABENUVA includes rilpivirine and cabotegravir. Oral rilpivirine has been an HIV treatment option since 2011. Cabotegravir, a medicine from another established drug class, was approved in 2021.

  • How is CABENUVA's every-other-month dosing different besides its schedule?

    Every-other-month CABENUVA and monthly CABENUVA use the same medicines to help you stay undetectable, but the amount of medicine you receive at each treatment appointment is different, depending on your chosen treatment plan.

  • Can I switch my CABENUVA dosing schedule?

    Switching dosing schedules may be an option for you. The best way to find out is to ask your doctor if switching to every-other-month CABENUVA is right for you—they can advise you on the steps you'll need to take.

Getting started on CABENUVA

  • How do I start?

    The first step is to talk to your doctor. Once they prescribe CABENUVA, they’ll walk you through how to switch to CABENUVA and answer any questions that may come up. 

    Before starting your CABENUVA injections, your doctor may have you take about a month of once-daily starter pills to see how your body reacts to the 2 medicines in it.

    Learn more about getting started with CABENUVA.

  • How much does CABENUVA cost? Will my insurance cover CABENUVA?

    After coverage & assistance options, most people are paying $0 for CABENUVA through a specialty pharmacy.*

    No matter if you’re insured or not, ViiV is dedicated to helping patients explore ways to afford CABENUVA. You can learn about insurance coverage and ways to save here. You can also call ViiVConnect at 1-844-588-3288 to get live one-on-one support from a trained Access Coordinator to help you understand your personal coverage and costs options, whatever your situation may be.

    Learn more about CABENUVA cost, savings, and support.

    *Individuals may be responsible for varying out-of-pocket costs based on an individual's plan and its benefit design. Additional costs may be incurred for product administration. Based on Feb 2022 to Jan 2023 data only from specialty pharmacies (on file with ViiV Healthcare).

  • Why might I have to take starter pills before I start CABENUVA injections?

    Your doctor may want to see if the medicines in CABENUVA are right for you before beginning the long-acting injections. In this case, you'd replace your current HIV regimen with these starter pills so you and your doctor can see how your body reacts to the medicine in the pills, which is the same as the medicines in CABENUVA.

    Once you're receiving regular CABENUVA injections, you won't have to take any more daily HIV pills.

  • What is an Alternative Site for Administration?

    An Alternative Site for Administration (ASA) is a medical facility that your doctor can refer you to in order to get your ongoing CABENUVA injections. You will still go to your doctor for your HIV care and other health needs.

    Use the ASA Locator Tool to find an option convenient for you.

  • What’s a specialty pharmacy? What should I do if my doctor is using one to get CABENUVA?

    Specialty pharmacies help provide doctor offices and medical facilities with medications that are not typically found in retail pharmacies, such as the CABENUVA injectable treatment.

    If your doctor is working with a specialty pharmacy to order your CABENUVA treatment, expect a call from the specialty pharmacy to confirm your coverage and schedule the first shipment. You may be required to schedule your CABENUVA refill shipments with a specialty pharmacy before each injection appointment.

    Learn more about working with a specialty pharmacy.

  • What if my doctor can’t offer me CABENUVA?

    If your doctor can’t offer you CABENUVA, they may choose to refer you to an Alternative Site for Administration (ASA). If you are undetectable and think CABENUVA is the right option for you, ask your doctor if an ASA is a convenient option for you both. ASAs are medical facilities where you can get your CABENUVA injections.

    Learn more about ASAs and find one near you.

What to expect on the day of your treatment appointment

Scheduling your appointments

  • Do I have to get CABENUVA on the same day for every treatment appointment?

    You'll receive your injections on your Target Treatment Date. This is a date you and your doctor will choose for your regular injection appointments—either once every other month or once a month, according to your treatment plan.

    If you can’t make your Target Treatment Date, be sure to contact your doctor right away. You have a Flexible Treatment Window—from 7 days before to 7 days after your Target Treatment Date. 

    To help you stay undetectable, it’s important to keep your appointments and stick with your treatment plan.

  • What happens if I miss a dose of CABENUVA?

    If you miss or plan to miss your CABENUVA injection appointment by more than 7 days, contact your doctor right away to discuss your treatment options.

  • What if I am traveling and can’t make my injection appointment?

    While it’s best to stick to your Target Treatment Date, things do come up. If you can’t make your Target Treatment Date because you'll be out of town, make sure to contact your doctor right away to set up a new appointment and talk about your options. You’ll have a Flexible Treatment Window—from 7 days before to 7 days after your Target Treatment Date.

    If you miss a dose or stop treatment, contact your doctor right away to make sure you stay undetectable. To maintain your treatment schedule, your doctor may instruct you to visit an Alternative Site for Administration (ASA)—which may or may not be covered by insurance.

  • What if my next Target Treatment Date falls on a weekend or doesn’t work for me?

    If you can’t make your Target Treatment Date for any reason, make sure to contact your doctor as soon as possible to set up a new appointment and talk about your options. You’ll have a Flexible Treatment Window—from 7 days before to 7 days after your Target Treatment Date.

    If you miss a dose or stop treatment, contact your doctor right away to make sure you stay undetectable.

  • My doctor’s office is a bit out of the way. Are there any other locations where I can get my CABENUVA injections?

    If your doctor’s office is out of the way, you can ask them about another option for getting CABENUVA. Depending on your insurance coverage, they may be able to refer you to more convenient treatment locations where you can receive your ongoing injections. These are called Alternative Sites for Administration (ASAs).

CABENUVA clinical studies

  • Has CABENUVA been tested in clinical studies?

    CABENUVA was tested in 3 clinical studies, involving more than 2,200 undetectable adults who either switched or continued their HIV regimen.

    See the CABENUVA clinical study results.

  • Who was included in the CABENUVA clinical studies?

    The CABENUVA clinical study participants included a diverse range of people across age, race, and gender. The group was composed of women (including transgender women), men, African Americans, Caucasians, and Hispanics of different ages, including people aged from 12 years to 50 years and older. These people were already undetectable and either switched or continued their HIV regimens.

    See what people have to say about being on CABENUVA.

  • What are the CABENUVA clinical study results?

    The clinical studies showed that long-acting CABENUVA is proven to help keep people undetectable. About 9 out of 10 people remained undetectable whether they were on daily HIV pills or CABENUVA. Less than 2% of people did not remain undetectable (primary endpoint). Results may vary.

    Daily pill regimens contained dolutegravir and 2 nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) or 2 NRTIs plus a protease inhibitor (PI), non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), or integrase strand transfer inhibitor (INSTI).

    See questions below for information on side effects.

    Read more about CABENUVA clinical studies.

CABENUVA risks & side effects

  • What are the most common side effects of CABENUVA?

    The most common side effects of CABENUVA are injection-site reactions, fever, tiredness, headache, muscle or bone pain, nausea, sleep problems, dizziness, and rash. Injection-site reactions include pain, tenderness, hardened mass or lump, swelling, redness, itching, bruising, and warmth at the injection site.

    These aren’t the only possible side effects of CABENUVA. See the Risks & Side Effects page. Always tell your doctor if you experience any side effects.

    You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.        

  • Are there any drug interactions?

    Make sure to tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some medicines interact with CABENUVA. 

    Do not receive CABENUVA if you are taking carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine, dexamethasone (more than a single-dose treatment), and St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum).

    Keep a list of your medicines and show it to your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

  • Can you develop treatment resistance while on CABENUVA?

    In the CABENUVA clinical studies, very few people experienced resistance to CABENUVA. Only people who did not respond to treatment were tested for resistance. 

    It’s important to keep your regular appointments and stay on treatment to reduce the risk of developing resistance.

  • Can CABENUVA be administered during pregnancy?

    Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if CABENUVA can harm your unborn baby.

  • Is CABENUVA safe if I’m breastfeeding?

    Before you receive CABENUVA, tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. CABENUVA may pass into your breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about risks to your baby from breastfeeding during or after treatment with CABENUVA.

  • What if CABENUVA is not right for me?

    If you try CABENUVA and you don’t think it’s right for you, that’s okay. You can work with your doctor to switch to a treatment that’s a better fit for you.