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New Study: Vaginal Ring Reduces HIV Transmission

  • Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye

Dr. Nyaradzo Mgodi of the University of Zimbabwe. (Photo: Dr. Nyaradzo Mgodi's Facebook page)

Dr. Nyaradzo Mgodi of the University of Zimbabwe. (Photo: Dr. Nyaradzo Mgodi's Facebook page)

A study conducted in various African nations, including Zimbabwe, to determine the effectiveness of an anti-retroviral drug, daprivine, for HIV prevention using a vaginal ring, indicates that the method works.

The other African countries involved in the study were Malawi, Uganda and South Africa.

Lead researcher Dr. Nyaradzo Mgodi of the University of Zimbabwe, who conducted the research in collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco, said, “what we saw, is yes, this ring does work.”

Dr. Mgodi said the results of the research, which involved 2,629 women who considered themselves at high risk for contracting the virus, is encouraging.

"It's really an exciting time for us women, for us scientists, this ring which is inserted into the vagina, that releases daprivine ring, does work to prevent HIV," said Dr. Mgodi.

To test the effectiveness of the ring, the study split the women into two groups, with one getting the daprivine ring, while the other received a placebo, or a dummy ring which looks like the real daprivine ring, but without the active ingredient or medication.

"If one was at risk, if you used the daprivine ring, your risk is reduced by 27%, that is across all the 15 sites I talked about in Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa and Uganda," explained Dr. Mgodi.

Dr. Mgodi is attending the annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), which brings together top basic, transnational, and clinical researchers from around the world to share the latest studies, important developments, and best research methods in the ongoing battle against HIV/AIDS and related infectious diseases.

CROI is a global model of collaborative science and the premier international venue for bridging basic and clinical investigation to clinical practice in the field of HIV and related viruses.

We will give you more of this interview, Tuesday…

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