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Ring-ing in the Future: Participant and Male Partner Perspectives Regarding Future Use of the Dapivirine Vaginal Ring for HIV Prevention

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Abstract

Women account for a disproportionate percentage of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa indicating a need for female-initiated HIV prevention options congruent with their lifestyles. The dapivirine vaginal ring for HIV prevention is one such option. We explored the interest of women, who used this ring during the Microbicide Trials Network’s ASPIRE and HOPE studies, in using the ring post-licensure and what they perceived as important considerations for future use. We also explored perspectives of HOPE participants’ male partners on their involvement in their partners’ future ring use. Women appeared keen to use the ring in the future and expressed desires for easy access, support for both ongoing and new users and intense community engagement. In parallel, male partners indicated high levels of interest in supporting their partners’ ring use and being involved in ring use decision making. These data offer important insights for ring rollout planning and engagement activities.

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Data Availability

Data is available as required.

Code Availability

The Dedoose qualitative software programme (Version 8.1.8) used for coding of transcripts is available.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the study participants for their participation and dedication. The authors thank the research site study team members, the MTN-032/AHA Protocol Management Team, the MTN Leadership Operations Center, Women’s Global Health Imperative (WGHI) RTI International and FHI360 for their contributions to data collection. The AHA trial was designed and implemented by the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN). The MTN is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (UM1AI068633, UM1AI068615, and UM1AI106707), with cofunding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Mental Health, all components of the US National Institutes of Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. The rings used as sample products were developed and supplied by the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM).

Funding

This work was funded by the Division of AIDS, US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, US Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, US National Institute of Mental Health, US National Institutes of Health.

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Contributions

KR, AK and ETM designed the study. FM performed data analysis on code reports, EL provided quantitative data. KR wrote the first draft of the manuscript. AK and ETM reviewed and edited the first manuscript draft. TP-P, ST, MG, LEM, SN, NM, MC and MT provided additional review and edits to the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Krishnaveni Reddy.

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The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare that are relevant to the content of this article.

Ethical Approval

The study was approved by the Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) at RTI International and local IRBs at each of the study sites and was overseen by the regulatory infrastructure of the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN). The procedures used in this study adhere to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Reddy, K., Mathebula, F., Katz, A. et al. Ring-ing in the Future: Participant and Male Partner Perspectives Regarding Future Use of the Dapivirine Vaginal Ring for HIV Prevention. AIDS Behav 26, 1923–1932 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-021-03542-z

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