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HIV/AIDS: New tests needed for vaginal gel

Two additional clinical testing will be conducted to confirm the effectiveness of vaginal microbicide gel
Two additional clinical testing will be conducted to confirm the effectiveness of vaginal microbicide gel
 

Two additional clinical testing will be conducted to confirm the effectiveness of vaginal microbicide gel that is supposed to greatly reduce the risk of transmission of HIV/AIDS, said Friday the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

In tests conducted in South Africa, the gel containing tenofovir would reduce women to the risk of contamination of the AIDS virus by 39%, the study by the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) presented at the 17th International Conference on AIDS found.

The study was conducted on women aged between 18 and 40 years. They should apply the gel at least 12 hours before sexual activity and in the 12 hours preceding the relationship. Experts from UNAIDS and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended to increase testing on different populations and other African countries before making any marketing procedure.

The experts also stressed the need to test the product on women 16-17 years old for whom the prevalence is very high in sub-Saharan Africa. Also, scientists from the United Nations recommend testing the product with different dosage and assess the results of a daily application of the gel.

If the results of future tests confirm those from the study of CAPRISA, this will enable women to no longer depend on the choice to protect or not their partner. About half of people with the AIDS virus worldwide are women. In sub-Saharan Africa, women are more infected than men.

Of the 100 million dollars needed to pursue this research only 58 million have been collected, said UNAIDS.

"Donors and scientists must work together to bridge the financing gap and rapidly develop the microbicide gel for women," says Scientific Adviser to UNAIDS, Catherine Hankins.

 
 
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