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Recent work on vaginal rings containing antiviral agents for HIV prevention

Spence, Patrick; Bhatia Garg, Anita; Woodsong, Cynthia; Devin, Brid; Rosenberg, Zeda

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: July 2015 - Volume 10 - Issue 4 - p 264–270
doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000157

Purpose of review In response to the need for strategies women can use to protect themselves from HIV infection, a new class of product commonly referred to as vaginal ‘microbicides’ has been under development for the past few decades. Several leading products currently in development contain antiviral agents delivered in a vaginal ring.

Recent findings Research published over the past year reports advances in identification and continued formulation of specific antiviral agents that have potential for delivery in vaginal rings, including drug combinations for HIV, other sexually transmitted infections and contraception. Most products are antiretroviral reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Advances in vaginal ring design have also been reported; some of these are designed to release specific antiviral agents, while other designs could be used for multiple drugs. This review focuses both on antiviral agents and vaginal ring designs.

Summary Over the past year, advances continued to be made in the development of vaginal rings to deliver antiviral agents for prevention of HIV. An array of antiviral agents and vaginal ring designs to deliver these products are at various stages in the product pipeline process. Results from the first efficacy trials of an antiretroviral-containing vaginal ring are expected soon and will inform the continued development of this important product class.

International Partnership for Microbicides, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

Correspondence to Cynthia Woodsong, PhD, International Partnership for Microbicides, 8401 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA. Tel: +1 301 608 2221x219; e-mail:

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