A new medical device that works inside a woman’s body to release an anti-retroviral drug already taken by 3.5 million HIV-infected patients worldwide has shown to be 100 percent successful in stoping the transmission of the simian immunodeficiency virus in primates. A new trial will begin on human females in hopes of finding a relatively easy solution to the scourge of HIV/AIDS. “The new ring is easily inserted and stays in place for 30 days. And because it is delivered at the site of transmission, the ring — known as a TDF-IVR (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate intravaginal ring) — utilizes a smaller dose than pills.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Because current pill regimines of anti-retroviral therapies must be taken in large quantities several times per day, compliance rates are not what doctors would wish. The same goes for anti-retroviral gels to be applied before sexual contact. “But the ring’s strength stems from its unique polymer construction: its elastomer swells in the presence of fluid, delivering up to 1,000 times more of the drug than current intravaginal ring technology.” Other drugs could potentially be integrated into the ring, such as contraceptives or antiviral drugs to prevent other sexually transmitted infections—a feature that could increase user rates.