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HIV prevention science scores a victory -- the gel works!
Date:7/19/2010

Vienna, Austria July 20, 2010 Today at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria, members of the International Rectal Microbicide Advocates (IRMA) and thousands of other HIV advocates and scientists cheered a long-awaited, much anticipated success in the quest for new HIV prevention technologies. Researchers announced that a vaginal gel has been shown to significantly reduce a woman's risk of being infected with HIV and genital herpes.

These game-changing results of the safety and effectiveness study of an antiretroviral microbicide gel were reported by the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA).

The microbicide gel that CAPRISA studied contained 1% tenofoviran antiretroviral drug commonly used to treat people living with HIVand was found to be 39% effective in reducing a woman's risk of becoming infected with HIV during vaginal intercourse and 51% effective in preventing genital herpes infections among the women in the trial. These protective effects increased as the use of tenofovir increased, so that women who used the gel in more than 80% of their sex acts during the trial had a 54% reduction in HIV infections. If and when other studies of tenofovir gel confirm these results, widespread use of the gel, at this level of protection, could prevent millions of new HIV infections over the next two decades. Tenofovir is also being studied as a form of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis.

"The positive results from the CAPRISA 004 study represent a very significant milestone in HIV prevention research and they increase optimism that we can develop safe and effective antiretroviral rectal microbicides," said University of Pittsburgh's Dr. Ian McGowan, IRMA Scientific Vice-Chair and co-principal investigator of the Microbicide Trials Network. "Phase I rectal safety studies with tenofovir are ongoing and these efforts need to be intensified to help us move forward to rectal microbicide effectiveness
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Contact: Jim Pickett
jpickett@aidschicago.org
773-600-6407
International Rectal Microbicide Advocates
Source:Eurekalert

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