South Africa, one of the most AIDS-affected countries globally, will soon introduce a vaginal ring that gradually diffuses an antiretroviral drug, dapivirine, for HIV prevention.

Three organizations in South Africa have ordered 16,000 of these rings, which will become available in the coming months.

Inspired by contraceptive rings, this silicone vaginal ring must be replaced monthly.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS highlights the potential revolutionary impact of this ring in HIV prevention.

It offers an alternative to other prevention methods, such as daily pills or monthly injections, which may not be suitable for everyone.

Ntombenhle Mkhize, President of the Aids Foundation of South Africa, emphasizes the importance of offering various safe and effective prevention options for women.

By 2023, women and adolescent girls are projected to account for 53% of global HIV infections, according to UNAIDS.

South Africa still has a high HIV prevalence rate of 13.7%, but a significant number of infected individuals are receiving antiretroviral treatment, reducing mortality.

Clinical trials show that the dapivirine vaginal ring, endorsed by the WHO, can reduce the risk of seroconversion (going from HIV-negative to HIV-positive) by 35%.

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