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Noorder-Paarl, South Africa

Nel A.,International Partnership For Microbicides | Bekker L.-G.,University of Cape Town | Bukusi E.,Kenya Medical Research Institute | Hellstrom E.,Be Part Yoluntu Center | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Background: This was the first microbicide trial conducted in Africa to evaluate an antiretroviral-containing vaginal ring as an HIV prevention technology for women. Objectives: The trial assessed and compared the safety, acceptability and adherence to product use of a 4-weekly administered vaginal ring containing the antiretroviral microbicide, dapivirine, with a matching placebo ring among women from four countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods: 280 Healthy, sexually active, HIV-negative women, aged 18 to 40 years were enrolled with 140 women randomised to a dapivirine vaginal ring (25 mg) and 140 women to a matching placebo ring, inserted 4-weekly and used over a 12-week period. Safety was evaluated by pelvic examination, colposcopy, clinical laboratory assessments, and adverse events. Blood samples for determination of plasma concentrations of dapivirine were collected at Weeks 0, 4 and 12. Residual dapivirine levels in returned rings from dapivirine ring users were determined post-trial. Participant acceptability and adherence to ring use were assessed by self-reports. Results: No safety concerns or clinically relevant differences were observed between the dapivirine and placebo ring groups. Plasma dapivirine concentrations immediately prior to ring removal were similar after removal of the first and third ring, suggesting consistent ring use over the 12-week period. No clear relationship was observed between the residual amount of dapivirine in used rings and corresponding plasma concentrations. Self-reported adherence to daily use of the vaginal rings over the 12-week trial period was very high. At the end of the trial, 96% of participants reported that the ring was usually comfortable to wear, and 97% reported that they would be willing to use it in the future if proven effective. Conclusions: The dapivirine vaginal ring has a favourable safety and acceptability profile. If proven safe and effective in large-scale trials, it will be an important component of combination HIV prevention approaches for women. © 2016 Nel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

Nel A.,International Partnership For Microbicides | Louw C.,Madibeng Center for Research | Hellstrom E.,Be Part Yoluntu Center | Treadwell I.,Be Part Yoluntu Center | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: The suitability of populations of sexually active women in Madibeng (North-West Province) and Mbekweni (Western Cape), South Africa, for a Phase III vaginal microbicide trial was evaluated. Methods: Sexually active women 18-35 years not known to be HIV-positive or pregnant were tested cross-sectionally to determine HIV and pregnancy prevalence (798 in Madibeng and 800 in Mbekweni). Out of these, 299 non-pregnant, HIV-negative women were subsequently enrolled at each clinical research center in a 12-month cohort study with quarterly study visits. Results: HIV prevalence was 24% in Madibeng and 22% in Mbekweni. HIV incidence rates based on seroconversions over 12 months were 6.0/100 person-years (PY) (95% CI 3.0, 9.0) in Madibeng and 4.5/100 PY (95% CI 1.8, 7.1) in Mbekweni and those estimated by cross-sectional BED testing were 7.1/100 PY (95% CI 2.8, 11.3) in Madibeng and 5.8/100 PY (95% CI 2.0, 9.6) in Mbekweni. The 12-month pregnancy incidence rates were 4.8/100 PY (95% CI 2.2, 7.5) in Madibeng and 7.0/100 PY (95% CI 3.7, 10.3) in Mbekweni; rates decreased over time in both districts. Genital symptoms were reported very frequently, with an incidence of 46.8/100 PY (95% CI 38.5, 55.2) in Madibeng and 21.5/100 PY (95% CI 15.8, 27.3) in Mbekweni. Almost all (>99%) participants said that they would be willing to participate in a microbicide trial. Conclusion: These populations might be suitable for Phase III microbicide trials provided that HIV incidence rates over time remain sufficiently high to support endpoint-driven trials. © 2011 Nel et al. Source

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