By Lisa Rossi
Two large clinical trials have found that a microbicide prevention method can safely help reduce new HIV infections in women.
Results of the ASPIRE trial, which enrolled more than 2,600 women in Africa, were announced today at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston. The results also will be published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Overall, the HIV risk was reduced by 27 percent, and in women older than 21, who appeared to use the ring better than younger women, the risk reduction was more than half.
This is a glass half-full moment,” said Jared Baeten, a University of Washington professor of medicine and global health, who led the study. “The HIV prevention field for women has struggled in the last few years – at times the glass had seemed almost completely empty. Now, for the first time, we have two trials demonstrating that a female-controlled HIV prevention method can safely help reduce new HIV infections. I’m optimistic about what these results might mean for women worldwide.”