Indevus PRO 2000 Gel May Protect Women From AIDS Infection
A newly developed gel may help protect women from contracting HIV, the virus which causes AIDS. The gel was made by Indevus Pharmaceuticals and is called PRO 2000.
They are trying to find a microbicide -- a gel or cream that women and perhaps men can use to protect against the AIDS virus when their partners cannot or will not use a condom.
PRO 2000 reduced the rate of HIV infection by a third, they told the meeting. "This is the first study that now shows that we have a promising candidate," Karim told a news conference.
"We do not regard it as a definitive conclusion that PRO 2000 is a microbicide but we certainly view it as very promising."
Many potential microbicides actually raise the risk of infection, so it is promising to have a candidate that is safe and potentially effective.
Researchers also found that an antiviral medication, which can be taken orally or by vaginal gel, also help to protect against the AIDS virus by binding to the HIV virus and thus preventing it from infecting other cells.
Microbicides can be applied without the knowledge of sexual partners. They are seen as being especially important in cultures where the subservient status of women makes it difficult for them to insist on abstinence or condom use, the two proven methods of preventing infection through sexual contact. In sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 60 percent of HIV-positive people are women.