||"Gabriel, ADEYEMO" [ profile ]
New hope for women who need protection from HIV
Jun 18th, 2012 - 04:10:37
SOURCE:* The Guardian*
AUTHOR: Sarah Boseley
The long and so far disappointing search for a way to enable women to
protect themselves from HIV infection may be inching closer to a result.
This week, at the Pacific Health Summit in London, the final large-scale
trial was officially launched of a vaginal ring which women can wear and
forget about - at least for a month at a time - while it releases an HIV
virus-killing drug called dapivirine.
The ring study, launched by the International Partnership for Microbicides,
is already recruiting women in South Africa, Rwanda and Malawi. This is a
phase III trial which will involve 1,650 women - enough to prove
definitively whether it works. Small trials have already taken place in
Africa to demonstrate its safety and to find out whether women are happy to
The answer to that question appears to be a definite yes, according to Zeda
Rosenberg, chief executive of the partnership and in London to talk about
the ring at the summit, which this year is focused on new technologies that
could become game-changers in healthcare in developing countries... "The
whole notion of the ring is that women forget they are using it," says
Rosenberg. "That's the really nice thing. Then they don't have to worry
about it." They do have to remember every four weeks when the drug has run
out, because they must go and change it for a new one. But Rosenberg says
that is not such a big issue.
There are ways of reminding them (mobile phones perhaps?) and she points
out that women do remember to come back for contraceptive injections.
The ring works by disseminating the antiretroviral drug into the tissues of
the vagina, which prevents infection by HIV. It is safe to use a higher
dose of drug than could be taken orally without toxic effects. It has long
been hoped that some sort of microbicide could be developed to help women
protect themselves - if necessary without men knowing. But the trials of
microbicides alone have been disappointing.
The difference with the ring is that it uses antiretroviral drugs. Trials
which showed that taking ARVs orally prevented people from becoming
infected with HIV have given a boost to this approach. Rosenberg believes
it will work - as long as women use it consistently and correctly.
"If women use the ring, we should see high levels of efficacy," she said.
But in a study, women sometimes lose faith because they are constantly
warned it may not work...
Moderator's Comment: It sounds good that we are moving forward in terms of
vaccine development that shall help mostly women who atimes do not have the
social power to demand the use of condom for their husbands.
Yours' in Prevention Science
Regional Focal Point - West Africa
Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AID (GYCA), a program of the Public Health
+234-80-6798-7317 | gabriel (at) gyca.org
www.gyca.org | www.phi.org
GYCA is a youth-led global network of over 6,500 young leaders and adult
allies working on youth and HIV/AIDS in 173 countries world-wide. GYCA's
mission is to empower young leaders with the skills, knowledge, resources
and opportunities they need to scale up HIV/AIDS interventions amongst
*My United Nations Pledge 2011-2012: "To lend my wit and my strength to the
AIDS Response guiding global youth towards one goal: Zero HIV: Zero AIDS
Related Deaths, Zero New Infections, Zero Stigma"*