To halt new HIV infections, the Ministry of Health has authorized the use of vaginal rings for women.
Acting Director General of the Ministry of Health Patrick Amoth stated during the program's start that women were the program's primary objective, as adolescent girls and young women account for over a third of new infections.
With no HIV vaccine in sight, scientists highlight other breakthroughs, such as injectable PrEP and vaginal rings, which they believe could offer superior new HIV prevention and treatment solutions.
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Dr Amoth emphasized the need for Kenya adopting local HIV prevention technology as the country grapples with decreasing healthcare financing.
Dr Amoth added that Infections have been rising, especially among youth and adolescents. Therefore, they need to do this study to inform them in terms of policy development and also new interventions that we need to implement to break the cycle of new HIV infections.
The director general also stated that donor financing for HIV-related projects in Kenya has decreased from 32% in the last decade to 18% in 2021, highlighting the need for indigenous ideas to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Women aged 18 and up will be given a vaginal ring as part of a five-year trial that will take place across six facilities in Kisumu, Nairobi, and Mombasa counties.
The user can implant the silicon ring and release regulated doses of the antiviral dapivirine over 28 days, providing HIV protection.
However, the ministry is still working with industry companies to develop better anti-virus solutions.
After receiving authorization from the Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board, the rings will be available in the six designated sites by the end of June.