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Malawi Journalists Urged to Publicize Virginal Ring

By Ireen Mseteka

Mzuzu, October 16, Mana: Southern Africa Trust (Sat) has called on journalists to promote awareness of Dapivirine Virginal Ring which is a new HIV prevention technology expected to be on market soon.

Speaking during Media engagement on the Dapivirine Ring Status in Mzuzu Thursday, SAT Country Director, Robert Mangwazu Phiri said the ring awaits a nod from World Health Organisation (WHO) before implementation.

He said journalists have a role to promote awareness of Dapivirine Ring once on market, as it is a new technology.

Phiri said so far the European Union Medicine Agency has recognized the ring as one of appropriate tools for fighting HIV spread.

“We know that the product is not yet on the market, but we need to prepare people involved in the communication part with right information,” he said.

University of North Calaina Project (UNC), Clinical Research Coordinator, Tchangani Tembo said Dapivirine Ring puts women in control of their lives over HIV as compared to other HIV prevention methods.

He said once inserted, a woman would stay with the ring for 30 days and it discharges drugs against HIV infection during sex.

“In some circumstances women fail to negotiate for safe sex, that’s why virginal ring comes in as the best tool for them.

“It can be inserted in advance and it can be inside them for 30 days without causing any problem or even during sex. During sex a man would not even notice that the ring is there out of the intercourse,” Tembo said.

Media Practitioner, Frank Chakhaza urged journalists to mainstream HIV/Aids issues in their reporting as it remains a challenge to Malawians.

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