Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dieffenbach - Future Priorities for NIAID’s HIV Prevention Research

via blog.AIDS.gov, by Carl W. Dieffenbach, Ph.D., Director of NIAID's Division of AIDS

[Check out his June 9, 2010 presentation: Restructuring the HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Networks]

As we begin to discuss the restructuring of NIAID's clinical trials networks, let us first focus on the Institute's HIV prevention research agenda. Developing new biomedical tools that can safely and effectively prevent HIV acquisition and transmission is critical to addressing the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. Currently, we are exploring several promising HIV prevention strategies that, if proven successful, could have a significant impact on reducing the incidence of new infections. These strategies include microbicides — gels, foams, creams, and other formulations designed to prevent sexual transmission of HIV — and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), attempting to block HIV infection by providing antiretroviral medicines to people who are not infected with HIV but who are at high risk for infection. HIV vaccines are also a major focus of our prevention research efforts, but we will discuss that area specifically in an upcoming blog post.

Vaginally or rectally applied microbicides could potentially provide women and men with a means of protecting themselves against sexually transmitted HIV infection. Non-human primate studies have shown that antiretroviral -based microbicides protect against HIV infection, and these types of products are now being tested in people. Nearly a dozen clinical studies are currently evaluating different microbicide candidates and delivery methods, such as the VOICE trial, which is comparing oral antiretroviral medicines to an antiretroviral-based topical gel for HIV prevention. That study is being conducted by the NIAID-supported Microbicide Trials Network. Future microbicide research efforts will focus on evaluating new products, formulations and routes of administration with the goal of finding a safe and effective microbicide that is reliably used by its intended population.

Read the rest. 

And leave comments! Dr. Dieffenbach is asking for input into NIAID's research agenda.

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