Px Pulse Podcast: What’s next for the dapivirine ring

March 30, 2018

The newest episode of AVAC’s Px Pulse podcast is up, bringing you critical updates on the dapivirine vaginal ring.

Download the episode via iTunes or at www.avac.org/px-pulse.

In March, initial results from the two open-label trials of the dapivirine vaginal ring (HOPE and DREAM) showed that adherence and efficacy improved over the earlier Phase III trials. Open-label studies, unlike Phase III studies, do not use a placebo, and all participants know they are using an intervention with evidence of a certain level of HIV protection. The ring is also advancing along the pathway to licensure. In other words, there’s much to discuss about this female-initiated HIV prevention option.

What do these data mean? What’s important to know about how and where the ring might be approved for use? If approved, where and when could women access the ring? And what do women who use the ring say about it?

In this episode, Zeda Rosenberg of the International Partnerships for Microbicides, which developed the ring, explains the latest findings and spells out how, when, where and if the ring might become an available tool. A trial participant and community leader in Uganda, Ruth* pulls back the curtain on the ups and downs of using the ring, and a Ugandan investigator with the REACH study, Carolyne Akello of the Makere University-Johns Hopkins University Research Collaboration, explains the importance of this new trial that will explore the potential of both this monthly vaginal ring as well as daily oral PrEP for young women.

Listen for a nuanced take on the data, what questions remain—and what it means for advocacy!

*Last name withheld for confidentiality.