Why a new vaginal ring could be a game-changer in HIV prevention

Thesla Palanee-Phillips, University of the Witwatersrand
The results of the two studies showing that a vaginal ring can help reduce the risk HIV infection among women is being hailed as an important HIV prevention breakthrough.

Launched four years ago, the two clinical trials, known as ASPIRE and The Ring Study, set out to determine how safe and effective the ring was in prevention of HIV infection in women. The ring, which is used for a month at a time, contains an antiretroviral drug called dapivirine that acts by blocking HIV from multiplying.

The studies enrolled close to 4500 women aged 18 to 45 in South Africa, Uganda, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Each study found that the ring helps reduce the risk of HIV infection in women. In ASPIRE, the ring reduced the risk of HIV infection by 27% overall. In The Ring Study, infections were reduced by 31% overall.

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When HIV Positive Mothers Speak: Preventing HIV in Infants

This post was originally published on the Gates Foundation’s blog, Impatient Optimists. “After I lost Nomthunzi, my life was never the same again. I cried for a long time.” Despite the grief of losing her husband and baby, Nomthunzi, to AIDS, Florence Ngobeni-Allen pressed on and became an ambassador for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) to educate women about the importance of HIV testing … Continue reading When HIV Positive Mothers Speak: Preventing HIV in Infants

UNAIDS Hosts First Google+ Hangout

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World Pneumonia Day – Why and How to Help

Today is World Pneumonia Day. Why? Pneumonia is the leading killer of children under five. 1.3 million people dies of pneumonia last year and 1 in 8 children were a part of those mortality figures according to worldpneumoniaday.org. Pneumonia is an infectious, bacterial disease that adversely affects one’s lungs. How can pneumonia be prevented? Vaccines against pneumococcus, Hib, pertussis, and measles can prevent a significant portion … Continue reading World Pneumonia Day – Why and How to Help

Why African Women Are Dying of Cervical Cancer

With so many communicable diseases plaguing the African continent we often forget about the non-communicable diseases that ravish its people as well. Did you know that cervical cancer is the number one cancer killer of women in Africa? Taking the lives of roughly 270,000 African women each year, Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, has been studying the rate of cervical cancer in women … Continue reading Why African Women Are Dying of Cervical Cancer