New Vaginal Gel Reduces HIV Infection Rates by 54%

A trial of a powerful new microbicidal vaginal gel reduced the HIV infection rate of test subjects by 54%. The gel is a 1% solution of the antiretroviral drug tenofovir, which stops HIV replication. At Scientific American, Katherine Harmon writes:

A reliable HIV-prevention method for women has thus far proved hard to come by, leaving many millions of at-risk women subject to their partner's decision about condoms.

But a gel that can be applied discretely could severely cut back on HIV, a disease that currently infects an estimated 33 million people worldwide. Researchers involved in the new study calculated that if about a third of women in South Africa could use this gel, in the next 20 years, 1.3 million HIV infections—and 820,000 HIV-related deaths—could be prevented in that country alone.

Link | Image: NIH

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I'm curious if it works after sex. I think a lot of the women in Africa needing HIV prevention are rape victims, and I doubt they'd put it on as part of their daily routine just in case. Also, would putting it on before delivery decrease the chance of the newborn becoming infected? That could be a huge benefit.

54% may not seem like much, and it's certainly not enough if you have the power to insist on a condom, but it is a step in the right direction.
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Yay. Less dyin' more breedin'... thats what the planet needs, right?
Can they combine it with a superstrong spermicide please, or only make it available to women already on the pill?
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