An insertable ring that slowly releases an HIV-fighting drug can cut in half the risk a woman will get infected — if the woman uses it, researchers reported Monday, NBC News reported.
The results are mixed news for efforts to provide women with a discreet way to protect themselves against the fatal and incurable virus. They show that a product can safely work, but they raise the question of whether people can or will use the product correctly.
"This is the first demonstration of a sustained-release approach for HIV prevention," Dr. Jared Baeten of the University of Washington, who led one of two studies on the ring, told reporters.
U.S. & World
The vaginal ring reduced the risk of HIV infection by 27 percent on average in more than 2,600 women Baeten's team studied in four hard-hit African countries. But it lowered the risk of infection by 61 percent among women aged 25 and older, the team said in a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine and that will be presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston.