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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

On July 24, 2020, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced a positive regulatory opinion from on the Dapivirine Vaginal Ring as an HIV prevention option for cisgender women age 18 and older. This document helps advocates to understand the steps that can and must be taken now that the EMA has provided its opinion.

July 24, 2020
What We're Reading

This summer marked an important milestone for preventing HIV in women and a beautiful moment for me. On July 24, the Dapivirine Vaginal Ring, the first long acting HIV prevention product for women and a major subject of my research at the Women’s Global Health Imperative, moved one step closer to real-world access. After years of uncertainty and delays, the European Medicines Agency provided a positive scientific opinion about the ring. This decision places the ring on the path toward regulatory approval, so that globally, women who need protection from HIV have more options.

September 2, 2020

On July 24, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) adopted a positive opinion on the dapivirine vaginal ring for use by cisgender women ages 18 and older in developing countries to reduce the risk of HIV. The ring is an important user-controlled option for women who choose not to, or are unable to, use pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

August 18, 2020
The BodyPro

A recent announcement about a vaginal ring to prevent HIV has AIDS activists and women’s sexual and reproductive health advocates excited. But where would this ring be effective in South Africa’s HIV prevention programme?

August 6, 2020
Daily Maverick
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