CAPE TOWN, South Africa Apr 23, 2006 (AP)
-- A safe and effective gel allowing women to protect themselves from the AIDS virus
may be available by 2010 if current trials involving thousands of women are successful, researchers said Sunday.
Aug 11, '06
I saw this on CBC. There is a big HIV conference happening in Canada, and one of the main themes is the increasing feminization of HIV. It used to be a disease affecting primarily gay men and IV drug users, but straight women are getting HIV more and more through heterosexual sex here in North America. It really mirrors what's already happened in Africa. Gels like this are particularly important because a woman does not require her partner's consent and can even use it without his knowledge, which matters a lot in countries where women don't have the power to negotiate safer sex. Unfortunately, in the articles I've read the efficacy was only 50-60%. Better than nothing, but not great. Plus there is concern that using these gels could make the users resistant to HIV meds if they do become infected in the future. Also, major pharmaceutical companies haven't gotten on this at all. That means the development of these gels is dependent on aid money and donations. The US and the UK have both been big contributors as have certain private donors like Bill and Melinda Gates.
Last edit by fergus51 on Aug 11, '06