Image Source: International Partnership for Microbicides
For decades, we have had two options for STD prevention: avoiding sex or condoms. Both methods are imperfect in their reliability, which is why STDs continue to plague humanity. But now science is coming up with something new for STD prevention, and it’s something women could use without having to rely on a guy’s ability to flawlessly apply latex to his throbbing member in the heat of passion!
The New England Journal of Medicine is reporting promising results from an experimental vaginal ring for STD prevention. Like the rings for birth control, this device is a flexible ring that a woman inserts into her vagina. Instead of releasing birth control, the ring releases anti-bacterial or anti-viral medications to stop STDs before they take hold. In a clinical trial in sub-Saharan Africa, the ring reduced the risk of HIV infection by 27 percent in the study population overall, and by 61 percent among women ages 25 years and older, who used the ring most consistently.
One dim spot in the clinical trial results is that researchers found no reduction of HIV risk on women 18-21. More research is needed to determine the reasons for the age-related differences in results.
If further studies show that these rings can be useful to the general population of women, we could see a revolution in STD prevention. And that’s good news for everyone who likes sex!