A vaginal ring that prevents HIV infection is to be tested in Africa after successful trials amongst sexually active teenage girls in the United States. The ring which should be used a month at a time, contains an antiretroviral drug called dapivirine.
Dapivirine inhibits HIV’s ability to replicate itself inside a healthy cell, while Levonorgestrel is a hormonal contraception mostly used to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
A press statement annoncing the kick-off of the first clinical trial stated that the major goal of the study is to “assess the safety and pharmacokinetics (how the body processes the two drugs),”
The trial in the US had returned positive and encouraging results after it concluded that a monthly vaginal ring with dapivirine was safe and also reduced the risk of HIV infection by 30% and up to 56% among among women who consistently used it.
The vaginal ring which sits on the cervix contains one or more microbicides. Its application is by the means of a high concentration delivery into the vaginal compartment, to be directly absorbed by the cells and tissues. It is said to cut infection by up to 56 percent.
The body addressing the issue based on the need for women’s contraception as well as discreet protection against HIV is International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM).
Founder and Chief Executive of IPM, Dr. Zeda Rosenberg explained their goals even further.
“Women’s sexual and reproductive health needs do not exist in isolation, and neither should their prevention options. A long-acting product that gives women two prevention methods in one may be quite appealing.”
“The only way to end the HIV epidemic is to offer women product options that meet their various needs, and IPM remains committed to making this a reality.” She stated.