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Microbicides

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. Today, daily oral PrEP is the only HIV prevention tool for women that does not require partner negotiation at or around the time of sex. Access to PrEP is expanding, but more options are needed. Easy-to-use microbicides would fill an important HIV prevention need. They can be used discreetly and their effect is localized to the site of infection (the rectum or vagina) and not systemic (affecting the whole body), characteristics some people will prefer.

A range of microbicide strategies are under investigation, including gels, douches and the dapivirine vaginal ring, which is being considered for licensure. Developed by the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), the ring would be the first microbicide and the next prevention tool available since oral PrEP’s approval in 2012. For the latest developments in dapivirine ring research and plans for potential rollout, visit the dapivirine ring page on PrEP Watch.

Key Update

In this episode of Px Pulse, Zeda Rosenberg of IPM explains the latest findings and spells out how, when, where and if the ring might become an available tool. A trial participant and community leader in Uganda pulls back the curtain on the ups and downs of using the ring, and a Ugandan investigator with the REACH study explains the importance of this trial.

March 30, 2018
AVAC
What We're Reading

Expanding the range of contraceptive options helps individuals make choices appropriate to their needs and circumstances, allows them to switch from one method to another, and reflects a focus on quality and rights. Rings are a new product category in many developing countries. The ability of vaginal rings to deliver on their promise to users, health systems, and markets will depend on the actions of a variety of stakeholders.

May 14, 2018
Contraceptive Technology Innovation (CTI) Exchange

Microbicides are an important strategy for preventing the sexual transmission of HIV but, so far, the most advanced tenofovir-based microbicides have had modest efficacy. This has been related to adherence problems and high prevalence of tenofovir-resistant HIV-1 strains. P3 is a new peptide with potent activity against HIV that may be a good microbicide candidate.

April 18, 2018
PLoS One

A battle is brewing in the HIV research world about the best way to prevent HIV transmission. On one side are drugs that target the tissue where exposure to the virus occurs — think a gel or douche. On the other is a whole-body approach. Think a pill or a shot.

April 24, 2018
PBS News Hour
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