Monthly Vaginal Ring May Help Protect Against HIV
MONDAY, July 18, 2016 — When used regularly, a medicated monthly vaginal ring may be an effective way for women in sub-Saharan Africa to protect themselves from HIV infection, according to new research.
The flexible ring contains the antiretroviral drug dapivirine. The ring, developed by the nonprofit International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), is placed high inside the vagina where it steadily releases the medication over the course of the month. Women insert the ring and remove it on their own.
A Phase 3 trial, known as the ASPIRE study, involved more than 2,600 African women between the ages of 18 and 45.
Researchers divided the women from Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe into two groups. One group was assigned to use the dapivirine ring and the other group to use a placebo ring that contained no medication. Between August 2012 and June 2015, 27 percent fewer women in the dapivirine ring group were infected with HIV than in the placebo group, the study’s authors found.
- Health Care