A Small Ring is a New Weapon against HIV
The disease known as HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) has been proven to be one of the toughest and most lethal opponents that modern medicine has ever encountered. Since the beginning of the current century, the virus has been responsible for about 25 million deaths so far while there are estimations that about 37 million people are currently infected.
The best way to reduce the number of new infections is taking precautions. However, condoms are not always available, especially in the so called ‘third world’ countries. Science and technology have to work together in order to come up with a solution, one that will allow to effectively block the disease and prevent new infections. Fortunately, such an invention was presented to the public last month at the 21st International AIDS Conference 2016 hosted in Durban of South Africa.
Its name is ‘dapivirine ring’ and it is currently going through the phase of clinical trials. Its name is pretty self explanatory, it is a ring containing dapirivine that is inserted inside the woman’s vagina and can be active for up to 30 days, releasing the aforementioned substance on a regular basis. It is a NNRTI (non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor) that prevents the HIV virus from attaching to the healthy cells of the person receiving the infected body fluid.
So far, the results have been very promising. A number of different studies have been conducted so far. The first two separate ones showed a decrease in the infection risk of about 30%, but the most recent one has shown an amazing 56% reduce in women that use the ring every single month.
The ring is very small and easy to place plus it does not affect sexual intercourse in any way. It is only 5 centimeters in diameter and, as stated earlier, it contains enough dapivirine to protect the woman wearing it for a whole month. After that, all that needs to be done is have the ring removed and insert a new one for another month.
This is a fight against, perhaps, the toughest sexually transmitted disease that we have ever faced. It is imperative that we educate ourselves, know everything about it to try and eradicate it once and for all. It is one of the very few cases that science and medicine alone can’t help us for now; the most effective measure will be avoiding unprotected sex and any type of reckless sexual contact.