After HIV prevention ring's success with teenage girls in US, tests to be carried out in Africa
July 26, Washington DC: A vaginal ring to prevent HIV infection has become popular with teenage girls in the US and plans of testing them on teen age gilrs in Africa is underway, according to researchers at the 9th International AIDS Society conference in Paris.
According to the scientists, the ring infused with microbicides, which sits on the cervix, has been shown to cut infections by 56% and it gives women the freedom to protect themselves from the sexually transmitted virus.
Young women and girls aged 15-24 make up a fifth of all new HIV infections worldwide while studies show that approximately 1,000 girls are infected every day in sub-Saharan Africa, alone.
The flexible ring, releases an antiretroviral drug called dapivirine for a month, and will have to be replaced every month,but scientists were unsure it would work in teenagers, who can be notoriously difficult when it comes to health advice.
The six-month US trial gave the ring to 96 sexually active girls aged 15 to 17, who had not used it before.
Data presented at the IAS Conference on HIV Science, showed:
87% of the girls had detectable levels of the drug in their vagina
95% said the ring was easy to use
74% said they did not notice the ring in day-to-day life
Prof Sharon Hillier, one of the researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, said: "HIV doesn't distinguish between a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old."Access to safe and effective HIV prevention shouldn't either, young women of all ages deserve to be protected."
If the ring gets regulatory approval, it would be the first method of prevention exclusively for women.
The Oslo Times International