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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 134  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 930-938

Microbicides for HIV prevention


Medical Research Council, Durban, South Africa & Department of Epidemiology & Population Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK

Correspondence Address:
Gita Ramjee
Director, HIV Prevention Research Unit, Medical Research Council, Durban, South Africa & Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.92638

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Although the HIV incidence rate has slowed in some countries, HIV remains a serious health challenge, particularly in the developing world. The epidemic is increasingly feminised, with young women at high risk of acquiring the virus. There is thus a clear requirement for acceptable woman-initiated methods of HIV prevention. Foremost among these are vaginally-applied substances known as microbicides; early research into potential microbicides focussed on non-HIV-specific compounds such as surfactants and polyanionic entry inhibitors. However, proof of the microbicide concept as a viable prevention strategy was not provided until the CAPRISA 004 trial of a microbicide containing the HIV-specific antiretroviral tenofovir was completed in mid-2010. Confirmation of the proof of concept provided by CAPRISA 004 by at least two major trials will hopefully lead to licensure of the product by 2018. Parallel studies are planned to ascertain the feasibility of implementation of these products in the public sector with subsequent research focussed on appropriate and acceptable methods of delivery of the active ingredient, and to increase adherence through other delivery systems such as vaginal rings.


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