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Preferred product attributes of a multipurpose vaginal ring: Findings from a phase 1 trial

Most women face multiple and co-occurring risks from unwanted pregnancy, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at some point during their lifetime. While a range of contraceptive methods exist and options for HIV prevention are increasing, to date, only male and female condoms provide multipurpose protection from both pregnancy and disease.

Overall, women liked the concept of a multipurpose IVR and found it easy to insert and remove. Initial concerns about the size or thickness of the ring generally disappeared with use experience. Women weighed trade-offs between the ease of continuous use for a longer duration against concerns about hygiene and discoloration of the ring when left in place during menses. Whether randomized to continuous or interrupted use, most women found ring attributes (size, thickness, flexibility) very acceptable. They provided recommendations via survey and qualitative interviews for ring modifications that would further increase acceptability. Insights into women’s use experiences also suggest the need for clear counseling messages and introduction strategies that can facilitate women’s choice and use of prevention methods.

Study findings suggest that a multipurpose IVR would make a valuable contribution to women’s sexual and reproductive health options, and that both continuous and interrupted use strategies may be preferred.

March 2023

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Database
Journal Article
Journal Article
MPT Articles
MPT Article
Resource

Citation:

Most women face multiple and co-occurring risks from unwanted pregnancy, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at some point during their lifetime. While a range of contraceptive methods exist and options for HIV prevention are increasing, to date, only male and female condoms provide multipurpose protection from both pregnancy and disease. Overall, women liked the concept of a multipurpose IVR and found it easy to insert and remove. Initial concerns about the size or thickness of the ring generally disappeared with use experience. Women weighed trade-offs between the ease of continuous use for a longer duration against concerns about hygiene and discoloration of the ring when left in place during menses. Whether randomized to continuous or interrupted use, most women found ring attributes (size, thickness, flexibility) very acceptable. They provided recommendations via survey and qualitative interviews for ring modifications that would further increase acceptability. Insights into women’s use experiences also suggest the need for clear counseling messages and introduction strategies that can facilitate women’s choice and use of prevention methods. Study findings suggest that a multipurpose IVR would make a valuable contribution to women’s sexual and reproductive health options, and that both continuous and interrupted use strategies may be preferred.

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Authors: Tolley, E.E., Hanif, H., Thurman, A., Brache, V. and Doncel, G.F.

Health Risks(s):

  • HIV
  • STI / STD
  • Unintended Pregnancy

Product type(s):

  • Contraceptives
  • HIVinhibitor
  • IVR
  • MPTs

Topic(s):

  • MPTs
  • Development
  • Trials
  • Social

Region(s)

  • LAC
  • United States

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