Researchers Develop Anti-HIV Vaginal Ring

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You know how you occasionally accidentally forget to use a condom? Because the gentleman penetrating you either tricked you, or you were wasted, or he was wasted, or because condoms suck. And then you have all this guiiilllttt. Like I know I’m sneaky taking birth control I would never tell him about and there’s always Plan B, but then secretly I’m a little bit nervy about STDs (please read that as stids, because that’s how I said it) because like everyone has HPV and even though you can’t die from herpes and you totally think you would notice if you saw them, it would still be gross, and then you also have this like really weird and unnecessary fear of AIDS. Maybe that last part is just me and Lena Dunham. And even if you do always use condoms (kudos)…what about the stuff that gets up around the sides of condoms? What about that stuff?

FEAR NO LONGER LADIES. Researchers from the Population Council have developed a ring to help prevent HIV. It’s basically like the NuvaRing. If you’ve never seen the NuvaRing, I think you’re lying or not close enough with your sisters because there is 100% a girl in your chapter who absolutely loves it (because all girls on the NuvaRing obsess over it) and tries to convert the rest of you. It looks like a jelly bracelet basically and you just squeeze it together, pop it in, and your muscles adjust it to the right locaysh right comfy around the cervix.

Anyway, so they’ve made one to prevent against HIV! How incredible is that? Basically what it does is produce an enzyme inhibitor called MIV-150. Think back to the biology notes you skimmed over in your test banks. Enzyme inhibitors change the shape of an enzyme that proteins (and viruses) bind to. The change of shape in this case prevents HIV from replicating.

Great! No more AIDS. But why a ring? I know, you totally think that one sister obsessed with her NuvaRing is weird for it. Can’t they just make a pill. I would totes take that pill right along with my birth control that I drink with wine LOLOLOL. TSM. No, but really. Well they trieddd to make it an oral agent first but it wasn’t super effective.

”Tested in the early 2000s, MIV-150 was found to be ineffective as an oral agent, because the drug was poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. The agent was also very actively cleared in mammals, so it’s low bioavailability and low half-life did not make it an attractive option for treatment.”

Rats. But when the agent is releasing hormones right in the target area it gets all nice and absorbed in the tissue and localized for optimal protection. After being tested on macaque monkeys, it proved to be 83% effective. I couldn’t help but think for a brief minute that it was sad that they were purposely giving monkeys HIV (maybe), but I guess it’s like necessary. And I don’t really like monkeys much anyway.

The ring won’t be released on the market for 5-7 years because viruses are like that girl during recruitment who just finds her way around the system and is able to keep coming back round after round. Except rather than telling lies to sisters, viruses can develop mutations in order to get around whatever is blocking them, so scientists fear that HIV may develop a mutation to resist MIV-150 and still infect. To get around this they need to complicate the formula and – the best part – make the ring protect against other STDs as well, including herpes and HPV. Oh, and pregnancy. They’d like it to serve as a dual purpose as a contraceptive.

Best invention ever? I think so. And I know, I know, girls are going to be all… omgggg, I don’t want to have to put it in and take it out myself! To this I say: really? There’s a part of your body you’ve never touched before? Weird. Some girls are like but stooooppppp. It’s so weird to have something inside your body all the time! Oh, soooo you don’t use tampons? Don’t you feel like people are looking at the diaper attached to your ass 3-7 days a month? And then there’s the ol’ well what if he can feel it when we have sex? So what? You can’t. Who cares. So, I stand by my claim. Best invention ever.

Unfortunately, the final product won’t be fully developed for another 5-7 years so I won’t be able to benefit from it as I plan to be married to a faithful man and actively trying to produce babies by then. But for those of you who are planning to post-grad slut it up, this will be awesome. An amazing breakthrough in medicine, and a pretty badass breakthrough in sex.

***


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Hot Piece (@VeronicaGrandex) is the Director of Total Sorority Move for Grandex, Inc. After having spent her undergraduate years drinking $4 double LITs on a patio and drunk texting away potential suitors, she managed to graduate with an impressive GPA and an unimpressive engagement ring -- so unimpressive, in fact, some might say it's not there at all. Hot Piece has since been fulfilling her duties as "America's big," a title she gave to herself with the help of her giant ego. She has recently switched from vodka to wine on weekdays. Email her at veronica@grandex.co

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