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The term “microbicide” refers to substances being studied that could be used in the vagina and/or rectum to reduce the risk of HIV infection via sexual exposure. There are no licensed microbicides available today. Vaginal and rectal microbicides could be additional prevention tools for women and men at risk of HIV around the world. Today, daily oral PrEP is the only prevention tool that women can use to reduce risk of HIV that does not require partner negotiation at or around the time of sex. Access to this strategy is limited and expanding slowly. But more options are needed. Simple, easy-to-use vaginal microbicides would fill an important HIV prevention need.

While no microbicide is commercially available, clinical trials could lead to licensing of the first products within this decade. To ensure that people can benefit quickly, the foundation for rollout must be laid now by exploring the feasibility, acceptability and impact of introducing new tools like oral PrEP and developing combination prevention platforms where new products can be easily introduced.

Results from two Phase III multi-country trials (ASPIRE and Ring) studying the 4-week slow-release dapivirine vaginal ring were released at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infection. Click here for press releases, background information and other useful resources about the Ring and ASPIRE studies.

What We're Reading

The New England Journal of Medicine has published the final results of the International Partnership for Microbicide's Ring Study, which evaluated the safety and efficacy of the dapivirine vaginal ring. These findings along with results from the ASPIRE Trial show that the ring is safe and partially protective.

December 1, 2016
New England Journal of Medicine

Medpage Today reports on additional findings from the ASPIRE dapivirine ring trial. This article looks at whether the ring had any impact on drug resistance in those who later became HIV positive.

October 19, 2016
MedPage Today

Additional findings from the ASPIRE trial of the dapivirine vaginal ring, released at the HIVR4P conference, considered whether sex was affected by use of the product.

October 18, 2016
National Institutes of Health
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