Clinical Edge

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Vaginal Ring Provides Partial HIV Protection

Effect strongest in women over age 25

The risk of HIV-1 infection was modestly reduced among African women with a monthly vaginal ring containing dapivirine, and this protective effect was strongest in women aged >25 years. This according to a phase 3, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 2,629 women ages 18 to 45 years. Researchers found:

• 168 HIV-1 infections occurred; 71 in the dapivirine group and 97 in the placebo group.

• The incidence of HIV-1 infection in the dapivirine group was lower by 27% vs the placebo group; by 37% in an analysis that excluded data from 2 sites that had reduced rates of retention and adherence.

• Higher rates of HIV-1 protection were observed among women aged >21 years but not among those aged ≤21 years in a post hoc analysis.

• The rates of adverse medical events and antiretroviral resistance among women who acquired HIV-1 infection were similar in the 2 groups.

Citation: Baeten JM, Palanee-Phillips T, Brown ER, et al. Use of a vaginal ring containing dapivirine for HIV-1 prevention in women. [Published online ahead of print February 22, 2016]. N Engl J Med. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1506110.