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Feminist News


May-20-96

New Gel May Prevent HIV Infection in Women

A study financed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has found that a virus-stopping gel applied to the vaginas of monkeys appears to stop transmission of SIV, the monkey version of the AIDS virus. Researchers hope the gel will be effective in humans, suggesting that women could apply the gel before intercourse to protect them from the AIDS virus. Research from the study suggests that the substance, PMPA, might be twice as effective as HIV-killing nonoxynol-9, but it is not clear whether or not PMPA will also cause irritation. The action of PMPA is similar to that of AZT, the first drug to combat symptoms of AIDS, but PMPA may be more potent and 100 times less toxic. The researchers consider the findings "very promising."

Media Resources: The Nando Net and the Associated Press- May 19, 1996