New Vaginal Microbicide for Herpes And HIV being tested
December 5, 2006 (Source: Medical News Today)
A team of researchers at UCSF is seeking young women to participate in the first U.S. study of the safety of a new vaginal microbicide gel, “VivaGel”, designed to prevent Herpes and HIV infection.
If it is effective and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, women would insert it into the vagina about an hour before having intercourse. The gel is not a contraceptive but instead works solely to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted disease.
Women who have herpes are at increased risk of contracting HIV, so diminishing the risk of getting Herpes also diminishes the risk of HIV infection. As well, the gel would be an important weapon in the fight against Herpes and HIV because it would allow women to protect themselves from infection rather than relying on their partners to use condoms.
Earlier spermicidal microbicides like nonoxynol 9, used in many contraceptive products, was eventually found to increase rather than decrease both Herpes and HIV infection rates. But “VivaGel” works differently through the use of a molecule called a dendrimer.
Dendrimers have molecular structures that resemble the branches of a tree which “catch” Herpes and HIV molecules, preventing them from entering and infecting human cells.
To participate in the study, women must be between 18 and 24 years old, sexually active, healthy and free of any sexually transmitted disease. They cannot be pregnant or breast feeding. They must either have regular menstrual periods or not have them at all. If you are interested in enrolling in this study, please contact Phyllis Brown www.ucsf.edu
For any other questions, contact Dr. H at HERPES.ORG
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