Last week, in a Facebook Live event we heard from NIH's Dr. Carl Dieffenbach about some new developments in HIV prevention for women shared at the HIV Research for Prevention Conference (R4P) in Chicago. Carl is the Director of the Division of AIDS at NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He and his colleague Anne Rancourt discussed some new findings from the ASPIRE study about the experiences of women who used a vaginal ring, which continuously releases the anti-HIV drug dapivirine.
Women's Experiences Using a Vaginal Ring for HIV Prevention
Earlier this year at AIDS 2016 in Durban, South Africa, the ASPIRE study reported that using a drug-infused vaginal ring most or all of the time reduced the risk of HIV infection in women by at least 56 percent. At R4P, researchers shared several insights gleaned from interviews with women who used the ring during the study. Among the findings that Carl and Anne discuss: women reported that the physical act of sex was largely unaffected by using the product. This is an encouraging sign that this product could appeal to a larger group of women at risk for HIV infection, Carl observes. However, researchers also reported that violence and social harm were associated with low adherence to the ring. View Carl and Anne's conversation from R4P:
Other Recent Highlights in Research on HIV and Women
We also wanted to share a video of Dr. Gina Brown sharing highlights on some of the advances in HIV research on women that discussed at AIDS 2016 in Durban in July.
Gina is the Director of Microbicides Research and Research on Women and Girls at NIH's Office of AIDS Research. We caught up with her at the international conference where research on HIV risk, prevention, and care among women was in the spotlight due to the disproportionate burden of HIV among women in sub-Saharan Africa. More information about the studies she discusses can be found in the conference program [PDF 16.7 MB] and in some of the conference videos.