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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.

Key Update

Let DAIDS know you want research on all types of prevention methods for all types of people to continue. Decisions about HIV prevention priorities need to be made by the people most affected by HIV as well as scientists, health workers, peer educators and more. These two sign-on letters urge DAIDS to continue their commitment to microbicide research and development alongside investment in long-acting systemic prevention options. Learn more about the recompetition process via our factsheet.

November 10, 2017
International Rectal Microbicide Advocates
What We're Reading

This POZ article presents a clear overview of the ongoing debate about the future research agenda of the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Division of AIDS (DAIDS). Reporter Benjamin Ryan takes readers through the DAIDS process, clarifies the competing arguments, and explains how PrEP is re-shaping the discussion.

December 8, 2017
POZ published this open letter from Jim Pickett of the International Rectal Microbicide Advocates and AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Pickett makes the case for continued investment in microbicide research and takes on the Director of the Division of AIDS at the US National Institutes of Health, Carl Dieffenbach. Dr. Dieffenbach has signaled NIH funding for microbicide research may not continue at current levels.

October 10, 2017
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