From the National Institutes of Health
NIH-funded study finds protective effect strongest in women over age 25.
A ring that continuously releases an experimental antiretroviral drug in the vagina safely 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 today at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston 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 Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and 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.”
Women accounted for more than half of the 25.8 million people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa in 2014. Finding effective HIV prevention tools for adolescent girls and young women in particular is critical, as one in four new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa occur in this group. Continue reading