In the wake of global Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) epidemic, researches all over the world are underway in a bid to put an end to this decades-long fight against this dreaded disease. In Africa, where a large of today’s population of people living with HIV can be found, a group of scientists has devised an ingenious vaginal ring that claimed to protect women from contracting the virus.
According to a report published by the New York Times Monday, a group of HIV researchers from the University of Washington came up with a ring that women can put around their genitals, which was said can lower down chances of contracting HIV.
But here’s the catch: the ring, which is made of silicone and measures 2.5 inches in diameter, can only lower the chances of contracting the dreaded virus between 27 and 31 percent. The researchers, led by Dr. Jared M. Baeten of the University of Washington, said their research output is already a big leap in the world’s fight against HIV infection.
Dubbed as one of the most promising HIV innovations among African women, Baeten’s team eyes to hasten the approval of the ring so they can mass-produce the product. Baeten also said the ring gives hope to the global fight against HIV.
“The hope was to find something that could be usable enough by women that it would provide H.I.V. protection, and that’s what we got,” Baeten said as quoted by the New York Times. He presented his study during Monday’s Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston.
The study, which was dubbed as ASPIRE or A Study to Prevent Infection with a Ring for Extended Use, aims to identify whether a certain type of antiretroviral drug dapivirine, can help prevent HIV infection when released in the vaginal area.
The HIV is the virus that causes AIDS or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that there are at least 37 million people are living with HIV in the world. Of which, more than half of them or 54 percent are aware of their HIV status, while 16 million are receiving treatment.