Vaginal ring somewhat effective at preventing HIV infection | Science News


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Vaginal ring somewhat effective at preventing HIV infection

Some women fail to consistently use device, first trials find

3:40pm, February 22, 2016
a vaginal ring

RING OF PROTECTION Two large studies find that a vaginal ring containing an antiviral drug can help protect women against HIV infection.

A vaginal ring infused with an antiviral drug appears to offer protection against HIV infection, although not as much as doctors had predicted. Women who used the ring had a 27 percent lower risk of HIV infection than women who received a placebo, scientists reported February 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine. A second separate study had similar results, finding a 31 percent reduction. Both studies were released during the annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston, Mass.

The trials, conducted by international teams of researchers, involved women in sub-Saharan Africa, a region hard-hit by the epidemic. Public health officials hope that discreet, long-lasting protection will help women protect themselves from infection (SN: 11/14/15, p. 14

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