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Anti-HIV gel proven safe, tolerable for women
Date:2/25/2008

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. An experimental anti-HIV gel is safe for women to use on a daily basis, according to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Testing showed the gel, called tenofovir, was favorably self-applied and tolerable to non-HIV-infected women, a significant boost to HIV and AIDS prevention efforts focused on next-generation microbicides to reduce infection rates, the researchers said.

The women study participants said if tenofovir gel is approved for the prevention of HIV infection, they would be willing to apply the gel to themselves daily or before sex, whichever is determined the best use.

The gel is safe to use, and well tolerated by HIV-negative women. Thats a key message in our findings, said Craig Hoesley, M.D., associate professor in the UAB Division of Infectious Diseases and author on the initial Phase II results. This sets the stage for larger studies to see if tenofovir can prevent HIV infection.

The tenofovir Phase II trial results were presented Monday, Feb. 25 at an international microbicides meeting in New Delhi, India. The researchers are part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health-funded Microbicide Trials Network, an international team of researchers devoted to exploring and evaluating anti-HIV microbicides.

Based on what we have learned we can proceed with greater confidence on a path that will answer whether tenofovir gel and other gels with HIV-specific compounds will be able to prevent sexual transmission of HIV in women when other approaches have failed to do so, said Sharon L. Hillier, Ph.D., director of reproductive infectious disease research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and principal investigator on the Phase II study.

Researchers evaluated if tenofovir was safe to use every day for six months, or safe to use prior to each act of intercourse. They found both approaches equ
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Contact: Troy Goodman
tdgoodman@uab.edu
205-934-8938
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Source:Eurekalert

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