Vaginal Ring Provides Partial Protection from HIV
A ring that continuously and safely releases an experimental antiretroviral drug in the vagina provided a modest level of protection against HIV infection in women, a large clinical trial in four sub-Saharan African countries has found. The ring reduced the risk of HIV infection by 27 percent in the study population overall and by 61 percent among women ages 25 years and older, who used the ring most consistently.
These results were announced Feb. 22 and simultaneously published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“Women need a discreet, long-acting form of HIV prevention that they control and want to use,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID, which is the primary funder of the trial. “This study found that a vaginal ring containing a sustained-release antiretroviral drug confers partial protection against HIV among women in sub-Saharan Africa. Further research is needed to understand the age-related disparities in the observed level of protection.”