USAID Awards The Vaginal Ring Designed to Reduce HIV Transmission
The United States Agency for International Development recently announced that it will award the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) up to $25 million for a period of 5 years to accelerate the potential rollout of its monthly vaginal ring designed to reduce the risk of HIV in HIV-negative women, Contagion reports.
Made of a flexible silicone material, the ring contains dapivirine, a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor that blocks HIV’s ability to replicate inside of a healthy cell.
“This would be the first new product for women for the prevention of HIV,” Sharon Hillier PhD, principal investigator of the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN), director of reproductive infectious disease research in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, said in a press release.
The ring releases dapivirine over the course of 1 month, offering a discreet and long-acting HIV prevention method for women, who insert and replace the ring themselves. IPM will also be able to accelerate the development of a 3-month dapivirine ring offering women greater convenience, as well as reducing the product’s annual cost.