Antiviral drugs in silicone vaginal rings protect women from HIV

Antiviral drugs in silicone vaginal rings protect women from HIV. | Courtesy of sciencedaily.com
Scientists from the University Jean Monnet of Saint-Etienne, France, recently announced that they have successfully created a vaginal silicone ring that delivers antiviral drugs to protect women from both HIV and herpes.

Further details from this study were presented at the 55th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC/ICC).

"We succeeded in creating a ring that can deliver hydrophilic molecules such as tenofovir, active on HIV-1, and acyclovir, active on herpes virus, despite the fact that silicone is a hydrophobic compound," Meriam Memmi, author of the study and Ph.D. candidate at University Jean Monnet of Saint-Etienne, said.

The ring was successful because the scientists added a hydrophilic compound to the ring’s silicone. This enabled the drugs to be delivered from the ring’s reservoirs into the test subjects.

"The aim of our study was to develop a vaginal silicone ring that was nontoxic to the health of users but was capable of delivering multiple active antiviral molecules against various STIs including HIV for a long duration," Memmi said.

These rings have multiple reservoirs in order to prevent young women from contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs), specifically HIV, for which young women have a high risk of exposure. The rings release molecules for as many as 50 days, which aligns with currently doses that prevent HIV-1 infection, genital herpes and hepatitis B, among other viral sexual-transmitted infections.

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