The Fenway Institute: Enrolling Young Women 15-17 in Anti-HIV Vaginal Ring Acceptability Study

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A safe and effective vaginal ring could offer women complete control over their ability to protect themselves against HIV

BOSTON, Mass.—The Fenway Institute is currently enrolling participants in a research study to determine if an anti-HIV vaginal microbicde ring is safe and acceptable in sexually experienced young women ages 15 to 17 years old. The ring contains the HIV inhibitor TMC 120 which is prescribed under the name Dapivirine.

Young women continue to be infected by HIV both in the U.S. and globally, so developing a safe and effective means to prevent HIV transmission in this group is vitally important. According to AMFAR, almost 60% of all new HIV infections around the globe among young people aged 15–24 in 2013 occurred among adolescent girls and young women. A safe and effective vaginal ring could offer women complete control over their ability to protect themselves against HIV and because the ring is designed to be inserted only once a month, product adherence should be less of an issue than with other approaches which may involve daily pill or gel use. [pullquote]According to AMFAR, almost 60% of all new HIV infections around the globe among young people aged 15–24 in 2013 occurred among adolescent girls and young women.[/pullquote]

“In the HIV prevention world we often talk about having a ‘tool box’ of options so that individuals are able to choose the prevention method that is most realistic for them to use. Having a vaginal ring as one of those tools would be incredibly exciting for women all over the world. Giving women the power to have complete control over lowering their risk for acquiring HIV would not only be empowering on an individual level but could have a large impact on a population level,” said Julian Dormitzer, RN, Study Coordinator at The Fenway Institute.

This study is designed to evaluate the ring’s acceptability, but is not looking at the ring’s effectiveness in preventing HIV transmission. From previous studies with adult women, we have data showing that the ring is safe and acceptable in women ages 18 and older and currently there are two large efficacy trials underway in Africa to determine if the ring is effective in protecting women against HIV.

The Fenway Institute is currently enrolling sexually experienced young women ages 15 to 17 who are willing to use a vaginal ring. Because the young women in this trial are under the age of 18, participants are required to have consent from a one legal guardian to participate. To learn more, call Emily George, Project Director, at 617.927.6246. [pullquote]Giving women the power to have complete control over lowering their risk for acquiring HIV would not only be empowering on an individual level but could have a large impact on a population level,” said Julian Dormitzer, RN, Study Coordinator at The Fenway Institute.[/pullquote]

In addition to Boston, this study is open for enrollment in New York City, New York; Denver, Colorado; and Birmingham Alabama. It is a collaborative effort between the Adolescent Trials Network and the Microbicide Trials Network and is sponsored by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the Division of AIDS of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesThe National Institute on Drug Abuse,  and The National Institute of Mental Health.

For more than forty years, Fenway Health has been working to make life healthier for the people in our neighborhood, the LGBT community, people living with HIV/AIDS and the broader population. The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on national and international health issues. Fenway’s Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center cares for youth and young adults ages 12 to 29 who may not feel comfortable going anywhere else, including those who are LGBT or just figuring things out; homeless; struggling with substance use; or living with HIV/AIDS.  In 2013, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts joined the Fenway Health family, allowing both organizations to improve delivery of care and services across the state and beyond.

[From a News Release]

 

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