For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the National Institutes of Health-funded Microbicide Trials Network presented final results from the VOICE HIV prevention clinical trial at the 20th Conference of Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta. The trial has been evaluating two antiretroviral (ARV)-based approaches for preventing the sexual transmission of HIV in women – daily use of one of two different ARV tablets or of a vaginal gel. While the products were found to be safe, it appears that most participants did not use the products daily, as recommended. The U.S. Agency for International Development, through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, contributed support for the VOICE trial through the technical support and vaginal gel provided by one of our partners, CONRAD.
“USAID applauds the efforts of all those involved with the VOICE trial,” said USAID Assistant Administrator for Global Health Dr. Ariel Pablos-Méndez. “While the results of this trial are disappointing, examining the safety and effectiveness of anti-HIV products is critical in our continued effort to identify prevention options for women in sub-Saharan Africa that they can use to protect themselves. Young African women remain at very high risk of HIV infection. There is an urgent need for effective strategies that women can control themselves and are willing to use.”
“USAID is committed to supporting critical research programs in this area, including the FACTS 001 clinical trial and CAPRISA 008 study,” said Dr. Pablos-Méndez. “These studies follow the successful CAPRISA 004 study, which showed that 1 percent tenofovir gel can significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection, when applied vaginally before and after potential HIV exposures.”
In each of these studies, the safety of study participants is paramount, and all receive ongoing counseling, condoms, and diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, among other HIV risk-reduction measures.
Last updated: April 20, 2015