Illinois action blog

Friday, July 30, 2010

Empowering Women to Prevent the Spread of HIV

Researchers in South Africa may have found an innovative way for women to protect themselves from HIV. The executive director of the UNAIDS program reported a new vaginal gel containing tenofovir (an AIDS fighting drug) that when tested in a study, decreased a woman's chance of contracting the AIDS virus by 50% over the course of a year. This rate could continue to decrease as women use the gel more regularly. In the study, women on average only used the product 60% of the time. Future versions might also contain increased levels of tenofovir which could lead to higher prevention rates.

Scientists need to conduct further studies and researchers hypothesize that results will need to show at least an 80% prevention rate before such a product would be available in the U.S. Although the gel is not ready for American consumers just yet, this innovation could provide a tremendous step forward in fighting the spread of HIV, especially for women whose partners refuse to use condoms. This development brings us one step closer to beating the AIDS virus.

Click here for the full text of the Chicago Sun-Times article.

Technorati tags: HIV


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