New microbicide gel empowers women and reduces HIV transmission rates by half

1% of the antiretroviral drug tenofovir, which interrupts the virus's replication.

88 sexually active women, 18 to 40 in South Africa, participated in the study. Half received the gel and half a placebo. The women injected the gel with an applicator 12 hours before they expected to have sex and within 12 hours after. Even with the high potential for human error, the gel reduced new HIV infection by 39% and new herpes infections, which contribute to HIV transmissions, by half. Women who used the gel 80% of the time reduced HIV infections by 54%. Those who used it less than 50% of the time lowered their risk of catching the disease by 28%.

Although these results are promising, more studies must be conducted to understand the drug's potential. Unfortunately these studies are extremely difficult to run accurately as they can't be conducted with humans in a laboratory setting. Also, the drug would likely have to have an 80% effective rate before the FDA would approve it in the U.S.


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Women now account for the largest group of new infections. Unfortunately, women have less say in whether a male partner uses a condom, especially in many African cultures where husbands visit prostitutes then bring the virus home to their wives.  However, a new vaginal gel may give women more control when it comes to preventing the transmission of the deadly virus.

As reported by the, new clinical trials have shown that a microbicide gel reduces new HIV infections by half.  This is groundbreaking as 30 previous trials with similar gels largely failed as they utilized detergents or other chemicals that didn't specifically target AIDS. This gel contains

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