Sexual health

Discreet new vaginal ring can help protect women from contracting HIV/AIDS

The International Partnership for Microbicides' vaginal ring. (photo credit: Twitter/@IPMicrobicides)

A new vaginal ring that can protect women from contracting HIV/AIDS could offer a discreet way to protect themselves in situations where they may not be able to demand that a man use a condom. Researchers announced Monday that they had successful trials with a silicone ring impregnated with the antiviral drug dapirivine, which they said could protect 75 percent or more of women who use it from contracting the virus.

“We are encouraged by these new analyses, which further support that the dapivirine ring could be an important option for women who urgently need new tools to protect themselves from HIV,” said Dr. Zeda Rosenberg, chief executive officer of the International Partnership for Microbicides, which developed the ring.

The IPM is seeking regulatory approval for the drug, and Rosenberg said the team will continue to study how the ring can best help the women who use it consistently. More than half of the 25 million people infected with HIV are women, according to NBC News.

“Young women in Africa have missed out while others have benefited from global progress against AIDS. The new studies point the way to HIV prevention opportunities that can help rectify this imbalance,” World Health Organization director-general Dr. Margaret Chan said in a statement.

Read the full story at NBC News.

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