Author Archives: walkerjt
HIV clinical trials have shown that the protective efficacy of daily antiretroviral drugs for the prevention of HIV transmission correlates with adherence – whether an uninfected person takes the prescribed medication at proper times. But nonadherence is a major roadblock toward decreasing the spread of HIV. One solution to the adherence problem is to make drug delivery less frequent but no less effective.
Women and girls are disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, comprising more than half of the estimated 37.9 million people living with the disease. Moreover, according to United Nations AIDS, some regions of the world, like sub-Saharan Africa, have an even higher burden, with women and girls constituting over 57% of the affected population, compared to 52% worldwide. With an unwavering increase of the disease along with antiretroviral treatments that can only help control the virus, not kill it, preventing HIV infection is essential. Researchers have been investigating for many years the use of intravaginal rings (IVRs) as devices for the delivery of agents to protect against the sexual transmission of HIV and other diseases, as well as to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Adherence to a strict HIV regimen is an essential part of effective HIV treatment. Medication should be taken every day, at specific times of the day, and with or without certain kinds of food. Making this process easier would, undoubtedly, increase medication adherence and improve the efficacy of current HIV treatment plans.
Rahima Benhabbour has always been an advocate for women’s health issues. As an assistant professor in the UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering and an adjunct professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, her passion is to develop innovative technologies that prevent HIV infections and other health conditions in women.