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New PrEP Ring for Women Reduces HIV by 50% — NHVMAS

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According to New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society (NHVMAS), the newly released Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) ring, also known as the dapivirine ring, can reduce HIV infection in women by 50 per cent.

PrEP is a drug that persons at risk for HIV use to avoid getting the infection through sex or injection drug use.

The announcement was made by Florita Durueke, the executive director of NHVMAS, on Monday in Lagos at a media training session for female journalists.

“During an open-label study, the ring can protect from HIV as high as 50 per cent,” the director said.

The director said that although the national HIV prevalence is 1.5 per cent, women are the most affected.

In comparison to their male counterparts, Ms. Durueke stated those between the ages of 15 and 49 had double the likelihood of contracting the virus.

“Data shows that the HIV prevalence was the highest among females aged 35 to 39 years at 3.3 percent and highest among males aged 50 to 54 years at 2.3 per cent,” the NHVMAS director noted. “The prevalence for young women is 1.3 per cent, but for the young men of the same age group, their prevalence is 0.4 per cent.”

According to Ms. Durueke, if women had the power to use PrEP in the right way, the results would be different. She described the PrEP ring as a flexible silicone vaginal ring that releases an antiretroviral (ARV) drug called dapivirine gradually over the course of a month in order to lower the risk of contracting HIV.

“The PrEP ring provides a steady release of dapivirine over one month without the need for maintenance. Low maintenance means less burden on the user to remember doses and may encourage more consistent users,” Ms. Durueke explained.

She further stated that the dapivirine ring, created by the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) and certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) for use by people 18 years of age and older, is simple, long-lasting, private, and safe to use.

The PrEP ring can be inserted or removed without the help of a healthcare provider. It is light and comfortable to carry around and causes no hindrance during sex.

 

 

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