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Women's Health
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June 2021

NIH Begins Study of COVID-19 Vaccination During Pregnancy and Postpartum

June 23, 2021

A new observational study has begun to evaluate the immune responses generated by COVID-19 vaccines administered to pregnant or postpartum people. Researchers will measure the development and durability of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in people vaccinated during pregnancy or the first two postpartum months. Researchers also will assess vaccine safety and evaluate the transfer of vaccine-induced antibodies to infants across the placenta and through breast milk. 

A pregnant woman in a blue dress

July 2020

Vaginal Ring for HIV Prevention Receives Positive Opinion from European Regulator

July 24, 2020

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announces its adoption of a positive opinion on vaginal ring for HIV prevention.

March 2020

Newer Anti-HIV Drugs Safest, Most Effective During Pregnancy

March 11, 2020

The antiretroviral drugs dolutegravir and emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (DTG+FTC/TAF) may comprise the safest and most effective HIV treatment regimen currently available during pregnancy, researchers announced today. Their findings come from a multinational study of more than 640 pregnant women with HIV across four continents. The study results affirm updated recommendations for HIV treatment in pregnant women set forth by the World Health Organization (WHO).

A variety of antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV.

NIH Study Finds Lower Concentration of PrEP Drug in Pregnant Young Women

March 09, 2020

Among African adolescent girls and young women who took HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) daily, levels of the PrEP drug tenofovir were more than 30% lower in those who were pregnant than in those who had recently given birth. All 40 study participants took PrEP under direct observation, confirming their near-perfect adherence. PrEP drug levels were lower to a similar degree in the pregnant African adolescent girls and young women compared to American men and non-pregnant, non-lactating women who took PrEP daily under direct observation in an earlier study.

Card with dried blood spots

February 2020

NIH-Funded Clinical Trial to Test PrEP, Dapivirine Ring for Safety in Pregnant Women

February 10, 2020

The first clinical trial specifically designed to test the safety of the monthly dapivirine vaginal ring in pregnant women has begun in southern and eastern Africa. The National Institutes of Health-funded study also will test the safety of a daily oral antiviral tablet for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in pregnant women and will assess how much they accept and use these two HIV prevention tools. The study will complement an ongoing NIH-funded trial of PrEP in adolescents and young women during pregnancy and the first six months after birth.

January 2020

New Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Trial Compares Stem Cell Transplantation to Best Available Drugs

January 07, 2020

A clinical trial has begun testing an experimental stem cell treatment against the best available biologic therapies for severe forms of relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). The trial, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, will compare the safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the two therapeutic approaches. 

Human T cell

October 2019

In Women with HIV, TB Preventive Therapy Poses Greater Risk in Pregnancy than Postpartum

October 02, 2019

Study results published today help clarify how to safely prevent tuberculosis (TB) in women living with HIV who are pregnant or have recently given birth, are taking antiretroviral therapy, and live where TB is highly prevalent. 

Photograph of a pregnant woman

July 2019

Most Women Use Vaginal Ring for HIV Prevention in Open-Label Study

July 23, 2019

In an open-label study of women in southern and eastern Africa, a vaginal ring that is inserted once a month and slowly releases an antiviral drug was estimated to reduce the risk of HIV by 39%, according to statistical modeling. In addition, the study found that participants appeared to use the ring more in the open-label study than in a previous clinical trial. These and other results of the HIV Open Label Extension (HOPE) study were presented today at the 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2019) in Mexico City.

A woman holds the dapivirine vaginal ring. 

PrEP Use High but Wanes after Three Months Among Young African Women

July 23, 2019

In a study of open-label Truvada as daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV among 427 young African women and adolescent girls, 95% initiated the HIV prevention strategy, and most used PrEP for the first three months. However, PrEP use fell among participants in this critical population during a year of follow-up clinic visits, although HIV incidence at 12 months was low. The preliminary results suggest that tailored, evidence-based adherence support strategies may be needed to durably engage young African women in consistent PrEP use.

Single pills (brand name Truvada) containing two antiretroviral drugs, emtricitabine (TFC) and tenofovir disoproxyl fumarate (TDF) used for pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

February 2019

Study of PrEP and Vaginal Ring for HIV Prevention Begins in Girls and Young Women

February 07, 2019

A clinical trial has begun to examine the safety and use of two HIV prevention tools—oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and a vaginal ring—in adolescent girls and young women in southern Africa.

Dapivirine vaginal ring and tablets of oral PrEP medication