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Adolescent girls and young women can and will use HIV prevention products: Results from CROI 2022

February 15, 2022—Results from the “choice period” of REACH, an open-label study of IPM’s monthly dapivirine ring and daily oral PrEP, were presented today at the 2022 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), taking place virtually February 12-16, 2022. Conducted by our partner the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) in South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe, REACH is the first study to assess the ring’s safety, adherence and acceptability among adolescent girls and young women in Africa.

During the first two phases of the study, participants used each product for six months at a time. Interim results from these phases were previously presented at IAS 2021, finding that both products were well-tolerated that adolescent girls can and are willing to use both products.

In the final “choice” phase of the study, participants were offered the choice of using either the dapivirine ring or oral PrEP for an additional six months, or to use neither product. Key findings from this phase include:

  • The vast majority (98%) decided to continue using one of the study products.
  • Of these, two-thirds (67%) chose to use the dapivirine ring.
  • Overall, most participants who chose the ring or oral PrEP consistently, with “some” to “high” adherence. Adherence during the REACH choice period was higher than observed among younger women in other clinical trials of the two products.

These encouraging results support the monthly dapivirine ring as a feasible prevention choice for adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa who cannot or choose not to use higher-efficacy options like daily oral PrEP. They also provide a model for supporting this key group—who face alarmingly high HIV risk—to make informed choices about HIV prevention products.

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