Medical experts working in the field of HIV-prevention in Africa were placed firmly under the global spotlight last month when the results of studies on the vaginal ring were released. Two studies conducted on four-thousand-500 women in Eastern and Southern Africa found that a vaginal ring, with an anti-retroviral drug dapivirine, provides 30 per cent protection against HIV infection in women. Discussions on the ring will be among the key issues on the agenda of the 21st International AIDS Conference which returns to Durban in July after 16 years. Co-chair of the conference Professor Olive Shisana says to ensure that the conference makes a difference to communities, they will be working towards reducing the time between scientific discovery and access to treatment.
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