A vaginal ring that discreetly delivers anti-HIV drugs will reach more women

This is the vaginal ring that releases the antiretroviral drug dapivirine to ward off HIV infection. The ring is now going into wider distribution in sub-Saharan Africa, where girls and young women aged 15 to 24 accounted for more than 77% of new HIV infections in 2022, according to UNAIDS.
AFP/Stephane de Sakutin/AFP via Getty Images

The first topical HIV prevention method to be submitted for regulatory approval, the dapivirine vaginal ring (DVR) is a silicone ring, developed by the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM). A recent article, written by Susan Brink for NPR, discusses how many African communities will have access to the vagina ring to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV from an infected partner.

The ring is inserted in the vagina and slowly releases an antiretroviral drug called dapivirine over one month to help protect against HIV at the site of potential infection. Little of the drug is absorbed elsewhere in the body, making it unlikely to be found in high concentrations in the bloodstream and other body tissues. This may reduce side effects as well as the risk of development of HIV resistance.

To learn more, go to IPM’s website to discover more HIV Prevention Products for Women worldwide.

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