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Anti-HIV vaginal ring stops virus from spreading among monkeys

Category: HIV

A device that administers STD-blocking microbicides has been proven successful at stopping HIV-positive female monkeys from causing other animals to screen positive when undergoing STD testing for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Scientists from the Population Council administered vaginal rings to the animals in the experiment either two weeks or a day before giving them a hybrid of HIV and SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus). Overall, only two out of the total group of 17 creatures that had been given vaginal rings contracted HIV, while well-over half of the control group of monkeys became infected.

"This proof-of-concept study confirms that the investment in vaginal rings as a delivery system for HIV prevention is paying off. Our findings show that rings can deliver an anti-HIV drug to prevent infection," said Naomi Rutenberg, vice president and director of the Population Council's HIV and AIDS program.

Sexually active people are advised by many agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to regularly undergo STD testing for medical conditions that they can get through intercourse. Factors the CDC says increase the chances of catching HIV include having sex with an HIV-positive person without a condom, unprotected sex with multiple partners and sharing syringes for drug use.

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