Acceptability of a Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate Intravaginal Ring for HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis among Sexually Active Women

April Dobkin, Jessica McWalters, Rebecca Barnett, Laurie L. Ray, Lilia Espinoza, Aileen P. McGinn, Jessica M. Atrio, Marla J. Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction Vaginal ring delivery of antiretroviral drugs may provide protection against acquisition of HIV-1 when used as Pre-Exposure prophylaxis. As part of a randomized placebo-controlled safety trial of a tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) intravaginal ring (IVR), we assessed product acceptability through surveys of women after continuous ring use. Methods Sexually active, HIV-negative women were enrolled to investigate the safety and pharmacokinetics of 3 months of continuous TDF IVR use. The study was designed to include 40 US participants randomly assigned (3:1) to a TDF or placebo IVR. Twelve were randomized to TDF and 5 to the placebo group before the study was electively discontinued because of the development of vaginal ulcerations in 8 women in the TDF group. Acceptability data were gathered via self-administered, computer-based questionnaires. Results The average age of the 17 participants was 31 years (range, 18-42 years). Sixteen participants (94%) completed all questions at 2 study visits. When asked about ring likeability after 1 month of ring use, 12 (75%) of 16 reported overall liking the ring, including 6 (75%) of 8 who developed ulcerations. In addition, 10 (83%) of 12 who had their menses during the first month of ring use were not bothered by the ring, and 11 (69%) of 16 stated that the ring was not bothersome with use during sex. Conclusions Despite unanticipated ulcers, TDF and placebo IVRs were acceptable to some women, even when used with menses and during sex, which is promising for continued development of IVRs for HIV prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-824
Number of pages6
JournalSexually Transmitted Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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