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Phase III trial of dapivirine ring begins in Africa: New HIV prevention approach for women
Date:7/24/2012

a vaginal ring for HIV prevention. Vaginal rings, which are flexible products that fit comfortably high up inside the vagina and are seldom felt by either partner during sex, are already used in many countries as a way to deliver hormonal contraception.

ASPIRE and The Ring Study are also the first large-scale prevention trials involving an ARV other than tenofovir or a tenofovir combination. For this reason, and because it is used for a month at a time, the dapivirine ring is seen as an alternative to tenofovir gel used daily or at the time of sex, and oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which involves the use of a daily ARV tablet tenofovir or Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine).

"As a field, we must continue to develop new strategies for HIV prevention. No single approach will be right for every person. In the same way there is a range of effective choices when it comes to birth control, women must have multiple effective options for HIV prevention," explained Jared Baeten, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Washington in Seattle, who is leading ASPIRE with Thesla Palanee, Ph.D., of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (WRHI) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

"The most effective HIV prevention product can only work if it's used consistently. The recent PrEP and microbicide studies have taught us that using a product every day can be challenging for many people. A sustained delivery product like a vaginal ring can release an antiretroviral drug in the vagina over an entire month following a single insertion. We think this will be an attractive option for many women, and we hope that women in ASPIRE will like the ring and use it consistently," added Sharon Hillier, Ph.D., principal investigator of the MTN, which is based at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Magee-Womens Research Institute.

ASPIRE is designed to enroll approximately 3,476 HIV-negative women between the ages of 18 and 45 who will be
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Contact: Lisa Rossi
rossil@upmc.edu
412-916-3315
Microbicide Trials Network
Source:Eurekalert

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