A monthly vaginal ring and a daily oral tablet, both containing anti-HIV drugs, were safe and acceptable in studies of adolescents, two teams of investigators reported today at the 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris.
The experimental ring is designed for HIV prevention and the oral tablet is already used for this purpose in adults. Adherence to the ring was high, while adherence to the tablet was moderate and diminished substantially when study visits became less frequent. These studies mark the first time the vaginal ring was tested in adolescent girls younger than 18 years and the first time a clinical trial of the oral tablet as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) specifically for adolescents included girls. The findings pave the way for larger trials of the vaginal ring and oral PrEP in this vulnerable age group.
“Adolescents and young people represent a growing share of people living with HIV worldwide,” noted Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “Science has demonstrated that the HIV prevention needs of adolescents may be different than those of adults, which is why these new study findings are so important.”
Both trials were funded in part or in whole by NIAID.