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Major HIV breakthrough in microbicide study

20 July 2010

Here at the XVIII International AIDS Conference, everyone is abuzz with the results of a study that a microbicide gel can reduce the chance that a woman will be infected with HIV. The study was done by the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA).

More specifically, the CAPRISA study tested the effectiveness of using an anti-retroviral (1% Tenofovir) based gel. The study enrolled 889 women, 98 of whom became HIV-positive over the course of the study. Some women were given the anti-retroviral gel, and others given a placebo. Women were instructed to insert a dose of gel within 12 hours preceding sexual intercourse and a second dose as soon as possible following sex (but within 12 hours). HIV status, safety of the gel’s use, women’s sexual behavior, and gel and condom use were assessed monthly for 30 months. The researchers found that infection with HIV was lower in the group of women assigned to the anti-retroviral gel than those assigned to the placebo gel. Among women in the anti-retroviral gel assignment, those who were deemed “high-adherers” (meaning they used the gel more than 80% of the time) had even lower HIV infection rates. The researchers estimate the anti-retroviral gel reduced HIV acquisition by an estimated 39% overall and 54% by women with high adherence.

Here is a 6-minute video with more information.

H/T AIDS2010 blog.


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