The Journal Science Translational Medicine recently saw the publication of a new study investigating whether or not the use of vaginal rings containing anti-HIV drugs (MIV-150) can successfully be used to prevent the spreading of AIDS amongst humans.
According to the team of researchers behind this experiment, their goal when deciding to test these new vaginal rings was to make it so that women and men could share the responsibility of not spreading this disease, meaning that a viable alternative to the run-of-the-mill condom would be more than welcome as far as public health was concerned.
However, the only downside to this experiment is that, as some animal rights activists are bound to argue, various animals got exposed to significant health risks in order for the scientists to test their theory concerning said rings.
Thus, several Rhesus macaques were fitted with the rings that are supposed to keep them from becoming infected with HIV, whilst others were left without any means of protection. In the end, scientists compared and contrasted the number of infections among the two aforementioned categories of monkeys.
informs us that, out of a total of 17 monkeys fitted with the ring, only 2 became infected. On the other hand, 11 of the 16 monkeys that were given a ring containing a placebo got infected.
It can therefore be argued that, according to these experiments, these newly developed vaginal rings have an efficiency rate of up to 83%.
Although it may be true that, as these tests suggest, vaginal rings may in fact make quite a difference as far as preventing AIDS (together with other sexually transmitted diseases) is concerned, the fact remains that some of the green-oriented organizations for which animal rights are of utmost importance are bound to frown on such experiments.
Just for the record, it seems that a clinical trial for these vaginal rings – one that will involve humans – is to commence in two years' time at the latest.