South African scientists who have been relentlessly searching for a way to quell the AIDS epidemic are finally seeing signs of hope.
The probability of women contracting the HIV infection can be cut in half using a microbocide gel that is infused with an AIDS-fighting drug, tenofovir.
After one year of using the gel, a new study shows that a woman’s risk of contracting the virus was reduced by 50%. After two and half years of use, the gel had improved their chances by 39%.
That is great news, but it may not be good enough for approval in the U.S.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health have said that they would only approve a gel that is at least 80% effective in preventing HIV infection.
Further research is being done on the product, but scientists are optimistic that it can be improved to meet NIH standards.
- AIDS Breakthrough: Gel Helps Prevent Infection (AssociatedPress)
- Effectiveness and Safety of Tenofovir Gel, an Antiretroviral Microbicide, for the Prevention of HIV Infection in Women (AAAS)