Women in Malawi have adopted a secret preventive measure against HIV infection from their men who they find to be difficult to convince when it comes to condom sex negotiations.
The silicon based ring is inserted in the vagina and it contains HIV preventive drugs and should be replaced on a monthly basis.
“The flexible ring, similar in size to the contraceptive diaphragm, releases an antiretroviral drug called dapivirine for a month,” BBCreported.
Women can insert the rings by themselves and the pro of the ring is that their men cannot feel it, only a woman can know whether or not she has the ring. However a similar research conducted in the US among teens revealed that girls’ partners were able to feel the ring, but it reportedly enhanced pleasure.
“I am a nurse and a midwife and I did special training in community health , I am really proud and I have put all my energy in this project,” said a midwife. “Normally in our culture negotiating sex with a partner is rather difficult, it is really a challenge, the women just want something to get protected with.”
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According to the women in Malawi, men have many sexual partners and they cannot be sure of the status of the other sexual partners, so having a ring that assures their safety is a step. This is to also note that each week, there are 7,000 new HIV infections in women in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“HIV in Malawi was really bad, our wards were full, I can say everybody has lost their loved ones,” said the midwife.
The clinical trials are still ongoing in Malawi and research indicates that at least 1 out of 3 women are safe but 2 out of 3 women are not. Dr Annelene Nel who is leading the clinical trials believes that it is better to save 1 out of 3 women than none at all especially if the women have problems in negotiating for condom sex.