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Pregnancy doubles HIV risk in men; first trial of a microbicide in pregnant women
Date:5/23/2010

PITTSBURGH, May 23 Young women of reproductive-age are among those at greatest risk of acquiring HIV, and several studies have suggested that during pregnancy women are even more susceptible to infection. Now, a new study finds that pregnancy is a time when men also are at greater risk. In fact, their risk doubles if their partner is both HIV-infected and pregnant.

The results were presented today at the International Microbicides Conference (M2010) in Pittsburgh, along with findings of a pivotal study that is the first to ask whether using a microbicide during pregnancy is safe for women and their babies.

Between 70 and 90 percent of all HIV infections in women are acquired through heterosexual intercourse, and women are twice as likely as their male partners to acquire HIV during sex, due in part to biological factors that make them more susceptible. Many women remain sexually active during pregnancy. Although correct and consistent use of male condoms has been shown to prevent HIV infection, women often cannot or do not wish to negotiate condom use with their male partners. And for many women, especially those who wish to become pregnant, abstinence is not an option they can consider. Microbicides -- substances designed to be applied topically on the inside of the rectum or vagina are under active investigation as a method for women to use to protect against HIV.

M2010 is taking place May 22-25 at Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Nearly 1,000 participants from 47 different countries are attending the meeting to hear about the latest developments in HIV prevention research. Summaries of the two pregnancy-related studies are provided below.

Pregnancy doubles HIV risk in men, study finds

While a number of studies have shown that during pregnancy women are at increased risk of acquiring HIV from an infected partner, a new study has found pregnancy is a time when men also are at greater ris
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Contact: Lisa Rossi
rossil@upmc.edu
412-916-3315
Microbicides 2010 (International Conference on Microbicides)
Source:Eurekalert

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