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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. 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
What We're Reading

A flexible vaginal ring loaded with the HIV antiretroviral dapivirine has been hailed as an exciting new HIV prevention option, particularly for women in sub-Saharan Africa who say the insertable vaginal ring is easier to use and more discreet than existing HIV prevention methods.

August 6, 2019
The BodyPro

Dapivirine vaginal ring PrEP would be cost‐saving in KwaZulu‐Natal if prioritized to female sex workers. PrEP's impact on HIV prevention would be increased, with potential affordability, if prioritized to women by age or incidence.

May 10, 2019
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