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The vaginal ring: more HOPE to the DREAM? Higher adherence and better effectiveness seen in open-label ring studies
Gus Cairns, 2018-03-08 01:10

Two open-label, parallel studies of vaginal rings used to prevent HIV in women released interim results at the CROI 2018 conference in Boston yesterday. Although, as open-label studies, there was no placebo arm and so no direct comparison with no intervention, the researchers estimated that in both studies there were 54% fewer HIV infections than there would have been on a placebo.

The two studies, MTN 025 or HOPE, and IPM 032 or DREAM, are open-label extensions of the two randomised, placebo-controlled studies of the vaginal ring, the ASPIRE or MTN 020 study, and the Ring or IPM 027 study, whose results were first presented at the previous Boston CROI Conference in 2016. These two studies reported an effectiveness of 27% and 31% respectively, so the estimated interim results announced today are a considerable improvement.

However adherence may fall off over time, so the final effectiveness results, which will be published in a year’s time, may be lower.