Montreal, Canada—After years of disappointing attempts to develop a vaginal microbicide that helps protect women from HIV infection, researchers announced preliminary findings from the first trial to show promising results.
In addition to these findings, presented at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, other encouraging news on the prevention front came from studies in macaque monkeys that found that antiretroviral drugs, given by mouth or in a vaginal gel, offered some protection to the animals from infection with SHIV, a virus containing components of HIV and a related monkey virus that mimics HIV infection and causes serious illness in macaques.
Stephenson J. HIV Studies: Progress in Microbicides, Dead End for an Immune-Boosting Strategy. JAMA. 2009;301(14):1421-1422. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.468