“Smart” segmented ring device delivers medications to stop HIV transmission

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Segmented ring in two parts and assembled

Left: the IVR in two parts. Right: the IVR assembled.

Researchers have designed a device that delivers two medications that help stop HIV transmission.

Although condom usage is the best strategy for preventing HIV transmission, the researchers are working to design a device that can be used by sex workers and in situations where women are not in a position to negotiate condom use.

The device is an intravaginal ring (IVR) that can be inserted into the female genital tract where it will deliver medications known to decrease the transmission of HIV. The researchers examined how effectively their IVR delivered two medications – hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), an FDA approved medication, and a nanomedicine gene therapy developed by the team in previous research. Their results were published in a recent study.

“This IVR system will help women to protect themselves against HIV infection and greatly reduce drug usage when it is not necessary,” says Yannick Traore, a recent Waterloo PhD graduate and lead author on the study.“We are hoping that this will reduce the cost of drug therapy and also prevent users from developing drug resistance.”

Read the full article on Waterloo News.

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