A long-time Fogarty grantee in AIDS research says he and his team have demonstrated for the first time the promise of a vaginal microbicide gel for preventing HIV infection in women.
The findings by a team led by Dr. Salim S. Abdool Karim of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa were presented at the recent 16th Annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.
The trials in the United States and Africa involved more than 3,000 women and found that the gel was 30 percent effective. “For the millions of women at risk for HIV, especially young women in Africa, there is now a glimmer of hope,” he said. “But these findings also indicate that more research is needed; we can’t yet say that we have an effective microbicide.”