Meeting Women's Needs
Products Women Can and Will Use
Because there will be no single solution to stopping HIV, having multiple prevention options is not simply a best-case scenario, it is the only scenario that can end the epidemic. This is especially true for women, who bear the brunt of the epidemic.
We undertake our research, first and foremost, with the needs and expectations of women in mind based on the preferences they express in qualitative studies, including product acceptability studies. These studies help to inform IPM and other product developers on the product characteristics women prefer, and serve to guide the drug development process, because a product will be effective only if it is used consistently.
Our most clinically advanced formulation is a vaginal ring that slowly releases the ARV dapivirine over the course of a month. IPM designed the ring to fill a gap in the existing HIV prevention portfolio with a long-acting female-initiated option they could use to help protect against HIV on their own terms. The ring was clinically shown to reduce HIV risk in two Phase III trials—the first long-acting product and the first biomedical product specifically designed for women to do so.