Preliminary studies of a gel infused with the antiretroviral drug Tenofovir have shown the drug's ability to reduce HIV transmission rates by nearly forty percent when applied to the vagina before or after unprotected sex. Now a new study has revealed the drug's potential for reducing HIV infections during anal sex.
The University of Pittsburgh and Magee-Womens Research Institute recruited eighteen men and women who were sexually abstinent and HIV negative to apply the gel or take an oral form of tenofovir for a week. Participants applied the first six doses of tenofovir gel, or placebo gel, at home, while the final dose was administered in the lab. Biopsies were taken from the rectal tissue of the subjects before and after treatment. These tissue samples were then exposed to HIV. Researchers found that