New HIV prevention data for women

Two studies presented at CROI today, ASPIRE and the Ring Trial, show the promise of a new prevention technology for women - the dapivarine vaginal ring. Both trials showed similar findings – with the ring reducing risk of transmission by approximately 30%. Efficacy was substantially higher among women older than 21 years who appeared to keep the ring in consistently throughout the month. As with previous trials, adherence appeared to be lower among adolescent women, which may explain the lower levels of efficacy in those under 21 years.

Pangaea strongly supports calls for investment in further evaluation of the dapivirne ring, and in Microbicides more broadly.

Dr Megan Dunbar, Pangaea’s Senior Vice President of Research and Policy commented, "Women need to be at the center of decision-making about future research and implementation of the ring. Open label studies designed with women’s full input must move forward to answer if and how real-world use may lead to greater adherence and improved efficacy, particularly for those in younger age groups.”

The other key message from today is that we need to move rapidly forward on scaling up PrEP for women, which is currently the only proven ART-based prevention intervention.

In April this year, Pangaea will convene an expert meeting of policy and community leaders, advocates and researchers to determine key priorities for advancing research to roll-out of prevention innovations for young women, including PrEP and the vaginal ring.

For more information about the dapivirne ring, please visit the AVAC website at www.avac.org http://www.avac.org/