And more on microbicides…

January 3, 2007

Here is another article about microbicide testing in Africa:

The Setshaba Research Centre is one of three sites in South Africa where a microbicide gel named Carraguard is being tested in phase 3 clinical trials, the last phase of drug testing on humans before approval for marketing.

More than 5,000 women are trying out the vaginal gel to determine if it really protects against HIV; most of them are from poor, neighboring areas.

“Studies done in the laboratory show that this agent might help in preventing HIV transmission,” Dr. Khatija Ahmed, principal investigator at the research center, told Women’s eNews. “It lines the vaginal mucosa so that the HIV virus cannot penetrate the mucosa and get into the human cell.”

If you want to learn more about microbicides, your best bet is to visit the Global Campaign for Microbicides webpage.


Molecular Condom to Combat HIV

January 3, 2007

From the BBC:

A “molecular condom” to protect women against HIV is being developed by US scientists.

The liquid formulated by a University of Utah team turns into a gel-like coating when inserted into the vagina.

Then, when exposed to semen, it returns to liquid form and releases an anti-viral drug to attack HIV.

However, the technology, featured in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, is still around five years away from being tested in humans.

[…]The Utah project is part of a worldwide research effort to develop “microbicides” – drug-delivery systems such as gels, rings, sponges or creams to prevent infection by HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.”

And in case you have never heard of microbicides before:

The word “microbicides” refers to a range of different products that share one common characteristic: the ability to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when applied topically. A microbicide could be produced in many forms, including gels, creams, suppositories, films, or as a sponge or ring that releases the active ingredient over time.

Keep microbicides in mind, because you are going to hear a lot of them in the future.