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Ministry of health launch vaginal rings to curb HIV infections

The Ministry of Health has launched vaginal rings to curb HIV infections. Women are the main people being targeted so as to deal with the spread of HIV.

Vaginal rings to curb HIV infections

Adolescent girls and young women contribute to a third of the new HIV infections and are therefore the target of the program. This comes from the acting director General of the Ministry of Health, Patric Amoth at the launch of a catalyst program. 

Another innovation that has been made to deal with HIV is the injectable PrEP to help prevent and treat HIV. The vaccine for the virus is however yet to be created or invented. 

With the country struggling economically, the health sector has a reduced budget. They therefore cannot afford to import or use international resources on a whim. The ministry is now employing local technology to prevent HIV and vaginally rings is one of them. The director mentioned that the donor fund had reduced from 32% in the last decade to 18% in 2021, warranting the use of local innovations. 

“Ours is to prioritize how we can put more investment into HIV prevention and other public health inventions. We also want to be able to develop inventions that will give us more health according to every shilling that we spend in these activities and you know in prevention when you spend one dollar then you are able to save 14 dollars,” said Amoth.

It is a five year study in six facilities across Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa. People participating will be women aged 18 years and above. The rings will be issued by end of June for a start of the study in July. 

The ring is silicon in material. It is inserted into the body, and releases an Antiretroviral drug called dapivirine over a 28 day period. This would offer protection from HIV/AIDS infection.

The program will take effect and be accessible to the public once the Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board approves clears its use. The ministry however, urges more innovations for the prevention against HIV and the treatment of it. 

Read Also: Fighting stigma and discrimination against people with HIV


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