Adolescent girls and young women account for 25% of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa each year.
In research presented at the IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris (25 July 2017), 96 sexually active girls aged 15–17 years in the USA were randomly assigned in a 3:1 ratio to use either a monthly placebo or a vaginal ring containing the antiviral dapivirine for six months
. Adherence to ring use was assessed through self-report, plasma dapivirine concentrations and residual levels in used rings.
The researchers found that 42% of girls said they removed the ring only to change it once a month and blood serum levels indicated adherence of 87% to the dapivirine ring. The rate of adverse events was similar between the two groups.
The team says the results show that the ring is safe and acceptable for use by adolescent girls and plan to study its use in a larger population of adolescent girls in Africa.
 Bunge K, Levy L, Szydio D, et al. Safety and acceptability trial of the dapivirine vaginal ring in US adolescents. Presented at 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science; 23-26 July 2017; Paris, France. Abstract available to view at: http://programme.ias2017.org/Abstract/Abstract/5540