Vaginal ring gives women more options for HIV prevention
In a world starved of good news under the weight of the corona virus epidemic, the field of HIV prevention and women’s sexual productive health has the reason to celebrate.
A dapivirine vaginal ring intended to be used for a month at a time has moved one step closer to potentially becoming a new HIV prevention method for cisgender women in Sub-Saharan Africa, who despite being in the face of the epidemic, have a few options for protecting themselves from getting infected with HIV.
The monthly dapivirine ring is the first discrete, long acting, HIV-prevention product designed for specifically for women.
According to Sowetan Live, On Friday, the rings developer, International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), welcomed a positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), saying this would open the door to the next steps needed needed to have the ring regulated in countries where it is most needed.
Dr Linda-Gail Bekker, professor of medicine and deputy director of the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation said “women in Africa have been left behind by progress for too long. This announcement is a landmark for women’s HIV prevention.”
“Made of flexible Silicone, the ring, slowly releases dapivirine, an antiretroviral medicine, locally to the site of potential infection, with minimal absorption else where in the body,” added Dr Linda-Gail Bekker.
“Expanding the number of HIV prevention options is important for women here in Africa and globally,” said Dr Thesla Palanee-Philips of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV institute in an interview with Sowetan Live.