"The bottom line is, for the men and women who engage in anal intercourse, condoms work quite well to prevent HIV," said Pickett, "but many people do not use them, or are simply unable to use them due to a number of issues including power dynamics in sexual relationships, stigma, and a serious lack of availability. According to the Global HIV Prevention Working Group, only 9% of individuals at risk for HIV infection had access to condoms in 2008. Condom-compatible lubricants are also in dangerously short supply."
While the rectal microbicide field has gained significant momentum, more focus and resources are needed. In 2010, U.S. $7.2 million is being spent globally on rectal microbicide research. IRMA has calculated that annual investments must increase by 40% from 2011 2014, to U.S. $10 million/year and must increase further to U.S. $44 million (a six-fold increase) in the years 2015 2020 to ensure a minimum of candidate products are moving through the research pipeline into late stage testing for effectiveness.
"We are optimistic that the CAPRISA results will not only accelerate the development of safe and effective vaginal microbicides, but that this proof of concept will also be translated into more financial and creative energy into rectal microbicide development," said Pickett. "With five new infections for every two individuals beginning treatment, it's absolutely imperative we find new ways to prevent HIV for individuals at risk, gay and straight, women and men."
|Contact: Jim Pickett|
International Rectal Microbicide Advocates