Editorial: Helping Women in Africa Avoid H.I.V.

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Every day, scarcely 1,000 immature women around a universe turn putrescent with H.I.V., a pathogen that causes AIDS. More than half of a 37 million people worldwide putrescent with H.I.V. are women, and many of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. These women too mostly miss a awareness, a financial means and a energy over their possess lives to strengthen themselves from a virus. Tragically, some-more women of reproductive age around a universe die from AIDS than from any other cause.

Now, women in a building universe have new hope. The formula of dual vital studies in Africa that were expelled Monday uncover that a new device could assistance strengthen women opposite H.I.V. It is a stretchable ring a lady inserts into her vagina, where it solemnly releases an antiretroviral drug. In progressing studies in Africa, pills and gels that can forestall H.I.V. infection had high disaster rates since women tended not to use them consistently. But a new ring is inexpensive, easy to insert, effective for one month and, once in place, undetectable by a lady or her masculine partner. It also has a shelf life of 5 years and requires no refrigeration — critical advantages in a building world.

Photo
H.I.V. patients during a Thyolo District Hospital in Malawi.

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Marco Longari/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

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The new ring is distant from fail-safe, though it did revoke H.I.V. infection by 27 percent in one investigate and 31 percent in a other; both examined women ages 18 to 45. Researchers found a device was some-more effective for women over 21 than for younger women, many expected since a comparison women used a rings some-more consistently. But some-more investigate needs to be finished to establish if there might be a biological reason that women underneath 21 showed small or no benefit. This is a vital concern, since immature women and teenage girls comment for one in 4 new H.I.V. infections in Africa.

Research now moves to a ring that would be effective for 3 months and to one that would also recover preventive drugs — a intensity inducement to get immature women to use a device consistently. That investigate can't ensue quick enough.

Of course, new drugs and inclination can usually assistance so much. Poverty, a miss of preparation — 80 percent of immature women in sub-Saharan Africa have not finished delegate propagandize and a third can't review — and amicable and informative etiquette that keep women subordinate to their masculine partners, with small control over their sex lives, all minister to women’s high infection rates. Investing in educating and lenient women in Africa and elsewhere in a building universe contingency sojourn an critical partial of a quarrel opposite this disease.