Project Ulwazi

Jessica Booysen

Why we support the vaginal ring introduction?

 By Jessica Booysen, AEDC Adolescent Young Women & Girls mentor. 1 December 2020

I am a young woman, residing in the Western Cape and I support the movement calling for women and girls to have various HIV prevention choices. Im excited that the daprivine ring will add more to our basket of HIV prevention tools. As young organiser and mentor to young girls I educate and organise voices of young girls and women to be advocates. Join us!

Activist Education and Development Centre is a feminist organization and strongly believes that women deserve more choice of female-controlled HIV prevention tools. The vaginal ring (DPV-VR) is a female-controlled product to reduce the risk of HIV infection. We need to educate each other especially young girls and women how to use products correctly. For those of us who do not know the ring just needs to be worn inside the vagina for a period of 28 days, after which it needs to be replaced with a new ring. This means that women don’t have to worry about daily insertion. Also, the ring is made of silicone and bends easily when being inserted. The ring works by releasing the antiretroviral drug called daprivine from the ring into the vagina. The DPV-VR is intended to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV during vaginal sex.

When providing HIV prevention services for woman it is important to provide these alongside other services including the offer of other HIV prevention choices, STI diagnosis and treatment, the offer of voluntary partner services, HIV testing and links to antiretroviral therapy for all woman who test positive and a range.

Since November 2020 the DPV-VR has been included in the World Health Organizations' (WHO) prequalification list of medicine. This means the ring will soon be available in South Africa. Contraceptive vaginal rings have been available for several years. The DPV-VR is the first vaginal HIV prevention product, research is underway to develop a vaginal ring that includes both contraception and HIV prevention.

Project Ulwazi

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