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Microbicides: A New Approach to HIV/ AIDS Prevention

Generally, a method to prevent HIV transmission through sex is by using a condom. But recently, researchers revealed that vaginal tablet and vaginal ring could effectively protect a person from HIV/ AIDS infection.

The researchers reported that vaginal tablets, vaginal rings and film-coated tablet can help protect both men and women from HIV infection.

This new approaches called microbicides may help resolve some of the risk of drug resistance that usually arises when someone uses pills to prevent HIV/ AIDS infection.

Some findings that have been reported in the International Microbicides Conference in Pittsburgh, as quoted by Reuters are as follow:

  • Vaginal Ring
    Vaginal ring also known as intravaginal ring is a ring-shaped device that is designed provide controlled release of drugs to the vagina over extended periods of time. This device is found by Andrew Loxley from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The device is testing in the laboratory to determine the effects of the dapivirine and maraviroc drug. However, this device has not been tested in humans.
  • Vaginal Tablet
    Vaginal tablet works almost same as vaginal ring which releases the maraviroc drug and other HIV drugs called DS003. These results are found by Sanjay Grag from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. The tablet uses a polymer coating designed to withstand moisture in the vagina.
  • Film-coated Tablet
    This device is found based on the research results of Anthony Ham from ImQuest BioSciences of Frederick, Maryland. Imquest is testing the HIV drug IQP-0528 in a small film and thin, even thinner than chewing gum or similar to a mouthwash strip.

Susan Schader and her colleagues from McGill University in Montreal, Canada said that the people will have drug-resistant infections in microboside when the person is already infected.

According to the United National AIDS (UNAIDS), until now the HIV virus has infected more than 33 million people worldwide and has caused 25 million deaths. In addition, more than a half of people with HIV are women and most are infected from their partners or who does not want to use condoms.

Actually, AIDS experts has long been looking for a microbicides – a creams, gels, or rings that can be used by men or women and serves as a shield to protect themselves from sexual transmission of this deadly and incurable virus.