Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will proceed with the HIV Open-label Prevention Extension (HOPE) Phase 3B trial to study the use of a dapivirine vaginal ring to prevent HIV in women.
The silicone ring allows for an ongoing release of dapivirine, an experimental antiretroviral drug, inside the vagina.
The new study seeks to collect further information about the safety and efficacy of the dapivirine ring. It follows earlier discoveries made in the ASPIRE trial, which suggested that the dapivirine ring gives women modest protection against HIV. The study included women from sub-Saharan Africa who did not contract HIV infections during the trial.
According to the ASPIRE research, the ring offers a 27 percent decrease in the chance of contracting HIV infections.
The NIAID hopes to add the ring to its research portfolio and implement it in sub-Saharan Africa.