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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

This document is designed to help advocates understand the status of the monthly dapivirine vaginal ring, and the ongoing and planned regulatory submissions that are part of the process to reach markets and users. It also includes links and resources to learn more and stay engaged.

June 17, 2020
What We're Reading

The long‐acting intravaginal ring containing Dapivirine significantly reduced risk of HIV transmission in women by 29 percent. The remaining microbicides had no evident effect.

April 19, 2020

A clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will assess the safety of the HIV-preventing monthly vaginal ring as well as daily oral Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa. The study will also examine how well the women accept these proven prevention methods.

February 17, 2020
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