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AIDS Behav. 2012 Oct;16(7):1787-98.

Vaginal ring adherence in sub-Saharan Africa: expulsion, removal, and perfect use.

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Women's Global Health Imperative, RTI International (Research Triangle Institute), 114 Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA 94104-3812, USA.


In sub-Saharan Africa, HIV incidence and prevalence remain disproportionately high among women. Vaginal rings (VRs) have been formulated for the delivery of antiretroviral-based microbicides, and their favorable safety and tolerability profiles reported in clinical studies. Although the concept of drug release through a VR has existed since 1970, and VRs have been marketed since 1992 for contraceptive or hormone replacement purposes, VR use as a microbicide delivery system is a novel application. This is the first study to evaluate VR adherence among African women in the context of its potential use as an HIV prevention method, to examine predictors of adherence, and to describe clinical or contextual reasons for VR removals or nonadherence. This was a randomized trial of the safety and acceptability of a placebo VR worn for 12 weeks in 170 HIV-negative, African women aged 18-35 in four clinic sites in South Africa and Tanzania. The findings suggest that adherence to VR use in the context of HIV prevention trials in these communities should be high, thereby enabling more accurate assessment of an active microbicide safety and efficacy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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