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Microbicide trial results a turning point for HIV prevention, says team testing same gel
Date:7/19/2010

Researchers who conducted a study testing a vaginal microbicide with an antiretroviral (ARV) drug called tenofovir found its use before and after sex was significantly more protective against HIV infection than a placebo gel among women at high risk of HIV. Results of the study, known as CAPRISA 004, are to be reported at the International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) in Vienna and published online by the journal Science.

CAPRISA 004 involved 889 women from Durban and a nearby rural community in South Africa, where women are at especially high risk of acquiring HIV through sexual intercourse. Women were randomly assigned to one of two study groups tenofovir gel or placebo gel with no active ingredient and instructed to use the study product in a regimen timed before and after sex. At the end of the study, there were 39 percent fewer HIV infections among women who used tenofovir gel before and after sex than among those who used the placebo gel. The study was conducted by the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA).

"This study has established proof of concept that a vaginal microbicide containing an ARV can protect women from HIV. This is an incredibly important achievement for which the CAPRISA team is to be congratulated. For all of us in the HIV prevention field, this result has shown that it may be possible to leverage this initial success using a single ARV at the time of sex into more potent approaches that could be 50, 60 or even 70 percent effective for prevention of HIV. The results of this study have reinvigorated the field," commented Sharon Hillier, Ph.D., professor and vice chair for faculty affairs, and director of reproductive infectious disease research in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and principal investigator of the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN).

The MTN currently is conducting another stu
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Contact: Lisa Rossi
rossil@upmc.edu
412-916-3315
Microbicide Trials Network
Source:Eurekalert

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