The Dapivirine Ring (vaginal ring) for HIV prevention has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), a European Union agency that regulates research and research products.
The trials on the use of the vaginal ring were conducted by University of North Carolina (UNC) in Malawi. The vaginal ring will be used by women as a method of preventing HIV as it has been proved to be safe.
Speaking with reporters after media engagement meeting on the Dapivirine ring and European Medicines Agency (EMA) status update, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR AFRICA TRUST (SAT) Country Program Officer Novice Bamusi said the ring will be on the market by 2021.
Bamusi added that approval of the product is very important because it will empower women considering that some options that women use for HIV prevention do not empower them such as female condoms where women need to seek permission from men before sex.
“We are very glad now that after two years of waiting for the approval of the vaginal ring, an international body called EMA came up with positive opinion about the ring on 24 of July this year.
“We are waiting for World Health Organization (WHO) to come up with guidelines and for the ring to be approved by regulatory within the country,” said Bamusi
The study of the vaginal ring was conducted in Sub-Sahara Africa where women are at high risk of contracting HIV.
In Malawi, the study was conducted among girls and women aged from 18 to 45 who are sexually active and at high risk of contracting HIV. The study has shown that the ring which is used for a month has no side effects.