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A vaginal ring containing the experimental antiretroviral drug dapivirine modestly reduced the risk of HIV infection among African women, according to a study by an international team of investigators (Baeten JM et al. N Engl J Med. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1506110 [published online February 22, 2016]).
From August 2012 through June 2015, the researchers enrolled 2629 healthy, HIV-negative women aged 18 to 45 years at 15 sites in Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe in this phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The women received a vaginal ring containing either 25 mg of dapivirine or a placebo and were taught how to insert it and wear it for the entire month. They returned for monthly follow-up visits during which new rings were provided, underwent serological testing and safety monitoring, and received adherence counseling.
Friedrich MJ. Vaginal Ring Provides Modest Protection Against HIV. JAMA. 2016;315(15):1554. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.3910