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VOICE study, a major HIV prevention trial for women, is launched in Zimbabwe
Date:9/16/2009

professor and consultant gynecologist in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare and co-chair of the VOICE Study.

Women represent nearly 60 percent of adults living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, and in several southern African countries young women are at least three times more likely to be HIV-positive than young men. In most cases, women acquire HIV through sexual intercourse with an infected male partner.

Although correct and consistent use of male condoms has been shown to prevent HIV infection, women often cannot control if or when condoms are used by their male partners. Moreover, women are twice as likely as their male partners to acquire HIV during unprotected sex, due in part to biological factors that make them more susceptible to infection.

"Women need safe and effective methods for preventing HIV that they can control themselves. Importantly, women need methods that they are willing and able to use, because no approach can be truly effective if she leaves it in her purse or hidden in a drawer," added Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine in the division of allergy and infectious diseases at the University of Washington in Seattle, U.S.A., and VOICE Study co-chair with Dr. Chirenje.

Two ARV tablets are being tested in VOICE: tenofovir and Truvada. Tenofovir, short for tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), is also known by the brand name Viread, while Truvada is the brand name for a combination drug that contains tenofovir and another active ingredient called emtricitabine (FTC). Both are approved for treating HIV as part of antiretroviral therapy (ART). While at least three ARVs are typically used for ART, a single ARV tablet taken once a day is the regimen being tested for HIV prevention in current trials, including VOICE, an approach called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

The vaginal microbicide being evaluated in VOICE, tenofovir topical
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Contact: Lisa Rossi
rossil@upmc.edu
412-916-3315
Microbicide Trials Network
Source:Eurekalert

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