HealthNewsNigeriaWhy diversified HIV/AIDS prevention tools matter for women

For Nigerian Women, there are restricted numbers of HIV/AIDS prevention methods available for use and even fewer methods that are easily accessible to many.

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) epidemic is one of the world’s most serious public health and social problems, and promoting knowledge and strategies to control prevalence is important.

The national prevalence among adults is pegged at 1.4 percent with Women twice as likely to be living with the virus, according to data provided by the New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society (NHVMAS).

Among Younger adults, women are four times more likely to be living with HIV.

According to the NHVMAS executive director, Florita Durueke, there is a need to expand the options for preferences for HIV prevention.

According to her, women’s preferences are different and they should be provided with choices that fit their needs.

This can be achieved through the provision of more HIV prevention products. One of the products recommended is Dapivirine Vagina Ring (PrEP Ring)

The product is a silicone ring. It uses anti-retroviral drugs which are inserted in the vagina for topical protection against HIV at the site of infection.

Mrs. Florita while speaking at a media training said the product reduces HIV incidence among women when used with high adherence.

“Dapivirine vaginal rings can reduce HIV incidence among women when used with high adherence.

“The dapivirine ring is a flexible vaginal ring made of silicone that slowly releases an antiretroviral (ARV) drug called dapivirine over one month to reduce the risk of HIV infection. Developed by the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM).

“The ring delivers dapivirine locally in the vagina where infection could occur, and little of the drug is absorbed elsewhere in the body. The product has mild to moderate side effects on users. It is also recommended for cisgender women aged 18 and older at substantial risk of HIV,” she said.

Mrs. Florita also indicated that the ring requires low maintenance as it can be used consistently for more than a month.

She also noted that it guarantees the user’s privacy and can be inserted without the assistance of a health care provider.

“The PrEP ring provides a steady release of dapivirine over one month without the need for maintenance –Low maintenance means less burden on the user to remember doses, and may encourage more consistent use. It can be stored, inserted, and removed in private,” she added.

“During clinical trials, it was rarely felt by women or male partners. Many women in clinical trials reported that they and their partners could not feel the ring during sex.”

Beloved John (Staff Writer)

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