New research shows a quick-dissolving, rectal suppository designed to prevent HIV infection is safe, although its efficacy remains to be tested in clinical trials, some of which will be conducted in South Africa. Still, the findings released late Tuesday could herald the start of a new “take as needed” era in HIV prevention.
The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority recently approved the use of the monthly dapivirine vaginal ring for women 18 years and older to reduce the risk of HIV infection. Thabo Molelekwa looks at the evidence for the ring’s efficacy and asks what plans there are for making it available to women in South Africa.
A UNAIDS report published earlier this year estimates that just under 4.5 million men and boys accessed voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC) services in South Africa by the end of 2019 with 47% of these having been performed from 2016 to 2019. Thabo Molelekwa reports on the impact COVID-19 has had on VMMCs and the challenges related to resuming this service in the country.