by Akan Ido
Scientists appear to have inched closer to discovering the cure for the dreaded killer disease HIV with the development of a vaginal gel to protect women who apply it even three hours after sex.
US researchers say the vaginal gel contains anti-retroviral drugs which is effective against the virus. The drugs were original designed to be applied by women before sex but is believed that this would limit their potency and interfere with sex practice.
Read the NAN report below:
The researchers wrote in Science Journal that they believed a gel that could be applied after sex would be more practical because it would give women more control and would require less preparation before sex and less partner acceptance.
The gel, developed by researchers of the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, contains the anti-HIV drug, raltegravir.
Using a macaque model to assess efficacy, the researchers found applying the gel 30 minutes before exposure, protected two of three macaques from SHIV, a combination of HIV and a related virus.
More importantly, the researchers said, the gel was equally effective when applied after exposure.
The researchers added that five of six macaques treated with the gel three hours after exposure remained uninfected.
They, however, noted that the observations required confirmation in larger number of animals.
“This study supports evaluation of this class of drug for HIV prevention and further evaluation of post-coital modalities in women for enhanced acceptability and compliance,” the report added. (Xinhua/NAN)