hiv-implantWhile Bill Gates might be known as being one of Microsoft’s co-founders, over the years he has slowly transitioned away from that image to being that of a humanitarian. Some of his efforts in the past have included solar-powered toilets and a machine that turns human waste (such as poop) into drinkable water.

Recently Gates and his wife Melinda Gates have backed a new medical effort that involves an implant that will help prevent HIV infections. In case you’re unfamiliar with HIV, it cannot be cured, but you can contract it under the right circumstances. However there is a way to prevent yourself from getting HIV which is through a method known as pre-exposure prophylaxis. It is not a cure, but if you’re at high risk of contracting the virus, taking the medicine daily can help prevent that.

The only problem is getting the medicine to the people who need it, which is where the implant comes in. The implant will use Intarcia’s Medici Drug Delivery System and will be embedded under the dermal layer of the patient’s skin where a 6- or 12-month supply of the drug will be stored. This means that if the patient lives somewhere remote where accessing medical help is difficult or impossible, this will ensure that they will at least have half a year to a year’s worth of the medicine before needing a refill.

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