Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers demonstrated that a gel applied in the vagina provides protection from both the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the herpes simplex Virus. The study, presented at the 12th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, is the first to show that a gel can retain anti-viral activity within the human vagina.
The study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) investigated the efficacy of PRO 2000, a topical microbicide under development by Indevus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "There is an urgent need for the development of safe and effective vaginal microbicides," Marla Keller, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the researcher who presented the data. "While condoms offer protection against sexually transmitted infections, their effectiveness is limited because they require partner initiation or consent."
According to the United Nations 2004 report on the global AIDS epidemic, an estimated 40 million people worldwide are living with HIV, and women account for nearly half of those infected. As stated by the World Health Organization, unprotected sex is the predominant mode of HIV transmission, and genital herpes plays a major role in the sexual spread of HIV.
Mount Sinai Press Office | EurekAlert!
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