Celebrating the new HIV long-term prevention method for women ages 18 and older!

31 Jul 2020

The Global Network of Young People Living with HIV (Y+ Global) joins the rest of the world in celebrating wonderful news on the new HIV prevention method for women ages 18 and older in developing countries to help reduce their HIV risk.

According to the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), existing prevention methods have not done enough to stop the spread of HIV among women, who bear a disproportionate burden of the epidemic, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

The two-phase III studies found that the monthly dapivirine ring reduced the risk of HIV-1 infection in women and was well-tolerated with long-term use. The Ring Study, led by IPM, found that the ring reduced overall risk by 35%, and ASPIRE, conducted by the US National Institutes of Health-funded Microbicide Trials Network (MTN), found that the ring reduced overall risk by 27%.

The positive EMA opinion opens the door to the next steps needed to seek approvals for the ring and make it available in countries where women are at high risk of acquiring HIV.

The Y+ Global HER Voice Fund Coordinator and member of IPM Ring Access Committee, Maximina Jokonya  indicated that there is need for more HIV prevention options that suits the circumstances and lifestyles for all women.

“It’s the best news we have received all year! We need more HIV prevention options for women – and products that women can initiate ourselves. Now we need to listen very closely to women, especially young women, and see how the ring can best meet their specific needs. Proud to be part of the team advising on access to the ring!” Maximina Jokonya.

In an interview on South Africa Broadcasting Cooperation (SABC) News, Professor Linda Gail Bekker stated that: “The ring is flexible which fits into the palm of the hand very easily that is infused with the antiretroviral agent called dapivirine. Once the vaginal ring is inserted in the vagina it is comfortable over the cervix, women becomes unaware of its presence and slowly over the months it defuses the dapivirine.”

If the virus comes in contact via the vagina the dapivirine stops that person from being infected with HIV and they can put on another ring after 30 days.

The ring was developed by the IPM, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing women with affordable and self-initiated HIV-prevention methods they can use to protect their own health.

Featured image, ©Andrew Loxley: The monthly dapivirine ring, developed by the International Partnership for Microbicides