Antiviral drugs in silicone vaginal rings protect women from HIV
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.