Thursday, July 26, 2012

Anti-HIV rectal microbicide research moves ahead

[Citizen News Service and IRMA are collaborating to amplify rectal microbicide research and advocacy, as well as IRMA-led initiatives, throughout AIDS 2012.]

It is indeed promising to note the momentum rectal microbicides research and development has attained, more so when there is a global call to end AIDS at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012). Turning the tide of HIV is not possible unless we have safe and effective HIV prevention options for women and men who practice anal sex. Just before the AIDS 2012 opened in Washington DC, the researchers at Microbicide Trial Network (MTN), University of Pittsburgh, USA, got a green signal to go ahead with a major rectal microbicide clinical trial.

According to Jim Pickett, Chair of International Rectal Microbicides Advocates (IRMA) and Director (Advocacy), AIDS Foundation of Chicago: Rectal microbicides are products currently under research – that could take the form of gels or lubricants – being developed and tested to reduce a person’s risk of HIV or other sexually transmitted infections from anal sex. The risk of becoming infected with HIV during unprotected anal sex is 10 to 20 times greater than unprotected vaginal sex because the rectal lining is only one-cell thick, the virus can more easily reach immune cells to infect.

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