Acceptability of the Dapivirine Vaginal Ring in Postmenopausal US Women

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2022 Mar;36(3):97-105. doi: 10.1089/apc.2022.0002.


For women in the United States who remain sexually active beyond child-bearing years, susceptibility to HIV infection remains, yet condom use is low. We assessed acceptability of the dapivirine vaginal ring (ring) among 96 postmenopausal US women enrolled in a placebo-controlled multisite phase II trial of the ring, using questionnaires and in-depth interviews. Three quarters of women reported "perfect" adherence (ring never out) over the 3-month trial period. At study exit, the ring was found to be very easy to use by 72%, very comfortable to wear by 65%, and 4% reported it ever interfered with their daily activities. The most common worries among participants at preinitiation had decreased significantly at study exit (e.g., worries about inserting the ring declined from 46% to 6%, discomfort during daily activities from 53% to 3%, ring not staying in place from 48% to 14%, all p < 0.0001). Despite some couples feeling the ring during sex, the ring was perceived as more suitable than condoms for prevention because it was not burdensome to use, did not interfere with erection, and provided (for some) additional vaginal lubrication. The ring is a promising, highly acceptable HIV prevention method that is suitable to the lives of postmenopausal women and their male partners and can provide them with an additional prevention choice. Clinical Trials Registration: NCT02010593.

Keywords: acceptability and preference; dapivirine; intravaginal ring; microbicides; postmenopausal; pre-exposure prophylaxis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Contraceptive Devices, Female*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postmenopause
  • Pyrimidines


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Pyrimidines
  • Dapivirine

Associated data