Putting HIV prevention in the hands of women – report from CROI

IGHID’s  Director of International Operations and UNC Project International Director Irving Hoffman is author on a paper reporting promising results from a clinical trial testing the effectiveness of a vaginal microbicide, PRO 2000 gel (0.5 percent dose).  The study involved 3,000 women at 7 sites across southern Africa, including our facility in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Preliminary findings of the study, HPTN 035, show the effectiveness of the gel, which is applied topically before sexual intercourse, was 30%. The paper was presented in Montréal at CROI.

“This is the first vaginal microbicide study that has showed any level of efficacy, along with an excellent safety profile. This study proved that women will use a vaginal microbicide product to protect themselves against HIV and after many product failures, there is hope for the field of vaginal microbicides,” says Hoffman.

Half of those infected with HIV worldwide are women, and in a part of the world where it is often extremely difficult for women to get their partners to use a condom, the results of this trial suggest that women will have more control over protecting themselves.

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