HIV: Ring drops risk of infection by 75%

2016-07-20 10:15
International Partnership for Microbicides director Zeda Rosenberg holds up the Dapivirine ring, which studies have shown reduces the risk of Aids infection if used continuously.

International Partnership for Microbicides director Zeda Rosenberg holds up the Dapivirine ring, which studies have shown reduces the risk of Aids infection if used continuously. (Chelsea Pieterse, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - New data surrounding the Dapivirine ring show that when the device is used consistently, it reduces the risk of women contracting HIV by 75%.

The ring, produced by a non-profit organisation, International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), was developed in response to the high number of women being infected with HIV.

The ARV-infused vaginal ring continuously releases the anti-HIV drug Dapivirine, reducing the risk of infection among women.

A previous report in The Witness in 2010 said that the Ladysmith-based Qhakaza Mbokodo Research Clinic was conducting a study under the guidance of IPM on a vaginal ring containing 25 mg of Dapivirine.

IPM said they had also assessed the acceptability of the ring and enrolled 280 healthy, HIV-negative women at research centres in Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Edendale in SA.

However, new results announced at the International Aids conference yesterday by University of Washington Professor Elizabeth Brown indicate that more recent results had shown that women who use the ring monthly had a reduced risk for contracting HIV of 56%, while those who used the ring often had a reduced risk of 75%.

She said that from the study, it appeared that if the rings were used consistently, the risk of infection decreased dramatically.

During a discussion between Brown, IPM director Zeda Rosenberg, University of Zimbabwe lecturer Nyaradzo Mgodi and University of Washington global health, medicine and epidemiology Professor Jared Baeten yesterday at the conference, it was said that although the information on the ring needed to be publicised, the ring had not been approved and could not be promoted.

Rosenberg said that because of the testing processes and assessments, the ring would likely be approved in mid-2018.

The panel said it was important to create options for young women instead of them just being able to use pre-exposure treatment or the ring.

Rosenberg said the SA government had responded very “favourably” to the study and they had received support from the Health Department.

She said the group would release a new ring as part of a study that would be contraceptive — as well as Dapirivine-infused.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  hiv  |  aids

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