New Intravaginal Ring That Prevents HIV And Pregnancy

March 12, 2014


Seen here in arguably the most awkward product shot for a vagina ring that I've ever seen, Northwestern University biomedical engineer Patrick Kiser pretends it's a magnifying glass. The new intravaginal ring is allegedly capable of preventing HIV, herpes AND pregnancy for 90 days. For reference, that's exactly 89 days and 23 hours longer than you should wear a condom.

The easy-to-use ring delivers controlled doses of tenofovir (a common antiretroviral drug) and levonorgestrel (a contraceptive) for 90 days. The rings are being manufactured now, and the device soon will undergo its first test in women.

It will be the first device with the potential to offer this protection to be tested in women.

"I suspect women will use the ring primarily for contraception, but they also will benefit from protection against sexually transmitted diseases," said Kiser, an expert in intravaginal drug delivery. "And for women in the developing world in particular, unwanted pregnancy can have significant health, economic and cultural consequences. We want to motivate women to use this ring."

Sounds promising, I just hope there aren't any serious side effects. Because one time I had a girlfriend who got on this new birth control and the hormones were NOT working out for her. And apparently I wasn't either, because she left me within the month. Fun fact: I have never gotten a girl pregnant before. "It's easy when you're a virgin!" Whatever, I have done the sex before. I could draw a vagina from memory.

Thanks to neolardo, who's just happy to see they didn't make it the shape of a ninja star.

  • Prometheus

    This is terrible. Just the regular contraceptive rings were bad enough. Every time I would find that I some how managed to remove the ring during sex.

  • An hour GW? Come on. You leave the condom on during breakfast too?

  • Bro Jones

    what about protection from stds for guys wtf

  • Matthew Anderson

    Just wear one 'round you cock for three months!
    Should work, right?

    Also: "expert in intravaginal drug delivery"... Bwahahaha

  • Andrew Newton

    you can still buy condoms

  • Littletroubleshooter

    OHHH WONDERFUL, we've created a device that will effectively turn women into a breeding ground for a new form of AID's that is resistant to Tenofovir. YAY SCIENCE!

  • The Magnificent Newtboy

    Yep, the miracle of natural selection, and I still think no medical solution is a better bet than a physical barrier.

  • Konstantin

    Hm. Should one go with barrier protection that's something like 80% effective, at best, against HIV or an anti-retroviral delivery system that can be as much as 99% effective? That's a tough one. I'll have to think about it.

  • The Magnificent Newtboy

    I'd be interested I knowing where you plucked your figures from. If that's the case then it makes sense, but from what I've heard a barrier is still most effective versus stds.

  • disqus_k2QxOV9H7Z

    I checked some studies to confirm or refute his claims. The only study about tefonovir efficiency in prevention claimed that it was 95% effective while condoms the results ranged from 80 to 95% but the failures are usually due to improper usage, storage, expired date, breaking, slipping, sabotage, etc. it is also worthy to remember that tefonovir don't protect against non-retroviral STDs.

    About the "IT WILL CREATE A MUTANT MONSTER THAT WILL KILL US ALL!!!!" This drug already have been in use for people that already have AIDS and also for some other diseases so it's ample use is nothing new.

    Probably this will be an effective tool in countries with high rape rates rather than something that first world women would use since side effects like nausea and diarrhea wouldn't make it very popular unless the chance of rape were a big concern.

  • Littletroubleshooter

    "This drug already have been in use for people that already have AIDS and
    also for some other diseases so it's ample use is nothing new."

    This drug has seen widespread, as in geographically dispersed use- yes. Has it seen massive use on a scale that could be geographically concentrated, in an area such as the USA, Canada or the UK? Not unless you consider between 15-25% of AIDs/HIV patients as highly concentrated.

    This drug will without a doubt make retarded civilians think they can fuck without consequence. HIV WILL be exposed to this drug more regularly. It will mutate so as to avoid the detrimental and inhibitory effects of Tenofovir.
    This is a known and expected fact of all medications, and especially of retro/anti-viral medications that are used to treat chronic diseases such as HIV/AID's.
    The reason Tenofovir was selected is because of it's targeted ailments growing resistance to it. The drug has been specifically used to treat HIV as a transcribing inhibitor since the late 80's.

    It's on it's way out, which is why the pharmaceutical company (actually should be -ies because several have access to the patent on an international level, Pfizer owns the North American patent) which owns its patent is happily discarding it as it becomes less and less useless.

    Think of this "medical leap forward" less as a leap and more of a running jog- it's the last hurrah for a drug that was mediocre to begin with. It's inhibitory rates on AID's and HIV is laughable either way you split this banana. You read "90% chance of inhibiting or preventing AID's" on geekologie and automatically assume that it certainly must be true! And why not. You're a self-accredited authority on everything! Meanwhile you fail to realize, understand or even search for the facts that Tenofovir in more than half of clinical cases fails to stop m/rRNA from coding (IT'S WHOLE FUCKING JOB.)

    Never once had you stopped to think that if this was a "wonder" drug, that it wouldn't be being pressed into use as a contraceptive compliment.

  • disqus_k2QxOV9H7Z

    "HIV WILL be exposed to this drug more regularly. It will mutate so as to avoid the detrimental and inhibitory effects of Tenofovir." Sorry but this is not how bacteria/virus/etc acquire resistance.

    Also this drug is available for free for HIV positive patients in some countries for years.

  • Konstantin

    I'm not feeling like digging through the articles at the moment, so I hope you'll forgive me for just plucking a few relevant quotes from Wikipedia.

    "Consistent condom use reduces the risk of heterosexual HIV transmission by approximately 80% over the long-term."

    "The PrEP studies utilize the drug tenofovir or a tenofovir/emtricitabine combo (Truvada) that is delivered orally. [...] The level of effectiveness depends on the degree of adherence to the prescribed regimen. In iPrEx, persons with greater than 90% adherence to the drug had an efficacy of 68% protection versus persons with less than 50% adherence who had an efficacy of 16%."

    "Programs to prevent the transmission of HIV from mothers to children can reduce rates of transmission by 92-99%."

    Long story short, the problem with using anti-retrovirals as preventative measure is in maintaining proper levels consistently. Even if you take pills on a regular basis, without ever forgetting, your levels are going to fluctuate. The only way to help with that is a controlled released of the drug by something implanted in your body.

    I don't know if this particular device will be the one, but this is clearly the way for HIV prevention. If we could keep the person constantly monitored and properly medicated, the infection rates would be incredibly low. That's not an option, though. Device with controlled release is the next best thing.

  • NutSpark

    Too bad the Wikipedia quotes you chose contradict what you said. Unless of course 68% is greater than 80%, or you're counting the risk of transmission from more to child as sex. Ick! </snark>

  • The Magnificent Newtboy

    Cool, and its not like you can't use both anyway.

  • Konstantin

    That is certainly true. And you can use tenofovir with a condom. In fact, I think there are some that are pre-lubricated with it, but I have no idea how affordable it is compared to standard ones. Anyways, right now, such a combination is your best bet. But an implanted device that releases proper doses can be even more effective. And yes, that certainly does still stack with barrier protection.

    However, barrier contraception also makes the pill more effective. Yet, I'm not aware of a lot of people who aren't using barrier for STD prevention still using condoms when on a pill. We have gotten the level of effectiveness from the pill that simply makes it more trouble than it is worth. I think we can get there with anti-retrovirals as well. Not with the current generation of drugs perhaps, but every little bit helps.

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