With the assistance of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, three important organizations involved in preventing and combating HIV in South Africa—the AIDS Foundation of South Africa, Beyond Zero, and Networking HIV & AIDS Community of Southern Africa—have placed an initial order of 16,000 Dapivirine Vaginal Rings for HIV prevention.
This was revealed by the Global Fund on Friday in a press statement.
A silicone ring called the pre-exposure prophylaxis ring is put into the vagina once a month to provide long-lasting, topical, and localized HIV protection.
The DVR is the only PrEP ring that has been authorized for HIV prevention by regulatory bodies.
According to the Global Fund, the availability of the PrEP ring in South Africa will provide women more options besides oral PrEP, which is frequently not enough to fulfill the individual demands of all those who wish to take it.
The organization acknowledged that certain people might decide against using oral PrEP because they have trouble adhering to a routine or would rather utilize a more discreet method.
“Increasing HIV prevention options, like the PrEP ring, is a key demand of advocacy groups and a core component to the HIV Prevention Choice Manifesto for Women and Girls in Africa published earlier this month.
“Women’s health advocates have long championed the need for a discreet product that women exclusively control,” said the Executive Director of the Global Fund, Peter Sands.
“We are convinced that this new PrEP ring can have a revolutionary impact on HIV prevention, and this is why we hope that many more countries will follow South Africa’s move,” it added.
The DVR was a safe and effective supplementary prevention option for women who were at high risk of contracting HIV in January 2021, according to a conditional World Health Organization recommendation.
So far, Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe have approved the DVR, and other African countries have regulatory submissions under review.