The International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) announced the clinical trial of its dual-purpose vaginal ring.
Designed to prevent both HIV and pregnancy, which are two of the greatest threats to women’s health across the globe, the vaginal ring will be tested on women to verify its safety and the way their bodies process the combination of drugs.
The three-month ring designed by IPM intends to slowly release antiretroviral drug dapivirine to prevent HIV while also releasing levonorgestrel, a contraceptive hormone.
“Women’s sexual and reproductive health needs do not exist in isolation, and neither should their prevention options. A long-acting product that gives women two prevention methods in one may be quite appealing,” said Dr. Zeda Rosenberg, founder and chief executive officer of IPM.
According to Humanosphere, various IPM studies have proved women’s interest and willingness to use vaginal rings. With HIV infection on the rise in 74 countries, experts claim that it is now essential to find more effective HIV prevention strategies that women in high-risk areas will actually use.
“Condoms are not practical options for many women,” Rosenberg told Humanosphere. “Given that the drop in new HIV infections has stalled and that 225 million women have an unmet need for contraceptives, we know that women need more options to protect their sexual and reproductive health.”
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