During the XIII International AIDS Conference held in Durban, South Africa, July 9-14, 2000, researchers from the Joint United Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS) presented results of a study of a product, COL-1492,* which contains nonoxynol-9 (N-9).1 N-9 products are licensed for use in the United States as spermicides and are effective in preventing pregnancy, particularly when used with a diaphragm. The study examined the use of COL-1492 as a potential candidate microbicide, or topical compound to prevent the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The study found that N-9 did not protect against HIV infection and may have caused more transmission. The women who used N-9 gel became infected with HIV at approximately a 50% higher rate than women who used the placebo gel.
CDC has released a "Dear Colleague" letter that summarizes the findings and implications of the UNAIDS study. The letter is available on the World-Wide Web, http://www.cdc.gov/hiv; a hard copy is available from the National Prevention Information Network, telephone (800) 458-5231. Future consultations will be held to re-evaluate guidelines for HIV, STDs, and pregnancy prevention in populations at high risk for HIV infection. A detailed scientific report will be released on the Web when additional findings are available.
CDC Statement on Study Results of Product Containing Nonoxynol-9. JAMA. 2000;284(11):1376. doi:10.1001/jama.284.11.1376-JWR0920-4-1