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African Researchers Develop Microbicide – a vaginal gel that reduces HIV infections

“The HIV/Aids prevention community is abuzz with excitement with the news that South African research has developed a vaginal gel – known as a microbicide – that can reduce sexually transmitted HIV infection by as much as 54%. A two-and-a-half-year study of 889 women by the Durban-based Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (Caprisa) found that a vaginal gel containing the antiretroviral drug tenofovir was 39% effective in reducing a woman's HIV risk when used for about three-quarters of sex acts. It was 54% effective when used more consistently, and also halved the incidence of genital herpes infections.”

Implications from Institute for the Future:

The creation on a gel that can properly prevent HIV transition is especially important in places where condom use is traditionally low and many women still do not have the right to say no or demand a condom. Female condoms have made some headway in this area, but due to their impracticality are not very popular. Funding for distribution and proper education on use are next steps to be taken.

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