Health Desk – 27 Jan 2021: The DPV-VR is a female-initiated option to reduce the risk of HIV infection. To properly use the ring, it must be worn inside the vagina for a period of 28 days, after which it should be replaced by a new ring. The ring is made of silicone and is easy to bend and insert. The ring works by releasing the antiretroviral drug dapivirine from the ring into the vagina slowly over 28 days.
Two Phase III randomized controlled trials found that using the DPV-VR reduced the risk of HIV infection in women and long-term use was well-tolerated. The Ring Study demonstrated an HIV reduction of 35% among women using DPV-VR, and the ASPIRE study a 27% reduction in risk.
Results from the open-label extension studies of the trials showed increases in ring use and modeling data suggest greater risk reduction — by over 50% across both studies — compared to the Phase III trials. Secondary analyses of the trial data also suggest higher risk reduction among women who consistently used the DPV-VR.