The microbicide vaginal ring has prevented infection by more than 50 percent in frequent users. Picture: Supplied
The microbicide vaginal ring has prevented infection by more than 50 percent in frequent users. Picture: Supplied

DURBAN – As Durban hosts the 8th SA AIDS Conference, some organisations such as the International Partnerships for Microbicides (IPM),are woking tirelessly to expand women's options when it comes to protecting themselves from HIV during vaginal sex. This includes the first long-acting, self-initiated HIV prevention method which has been tried and tested in two Phase III trials.

The ring is hoped to reduce the number of new HIV infections in developing countries.


The International Partnerships for Microbicides (IPM), is a nonprofit organisation which is dedicated to the development of new HIV prevention tools as well as other sexual and reproductive health technologies for women and making them available in developing countries.


Here are nine things you may not have known about a HIV vaginal ring.



  1. The vaginal ring contains the antiretroviral (ARV) drug, dapivirine, can help prevent HIV infection in women.

  1. The ring could provide a discreet and easy to use new method of protection for women at high risk of HIV.

  1. Results of a study reported that overall HIV infections were reduced by 31 percent with the vaginal ring.

  1. The vaginal ring needs to be used consistently for protection to be reached.

  1. The vaginal ring is safe to use.

  1. Vaginal rings are flexible, which makes them able to fit comfortably inside the vagina and provide and it provides sustained delivery of drugs over a period of time.

  1. The dapivirine ring, from the International Partnerships for Microbicides, adapts to the above commonly used medical technology which offers women monthly protection from HIV during sex with a male partner.

  1. The ring is easier for women to insert and remove on their own.

  1. The dapivirine ring is the first discrete self-initiated HIV prevention method which is designed for women, which is shown to safely help offer protection for a month.

The dapivirine ring will soon undergo regulatory review.

Daily News