Sunday, August 23, 2009

MSI Microbicides Monitor: 11-24 August 2009

MSI Microbicides Monitor: 11-24 August 2009
Issue 2
Monday, 24 August 2009
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The MSI Microbicides Monitor provides a weekly snapshot of major news pieces on microbicides research, advocacy and development from around the world, including news highlights from countries where clinical trials are taking place, and links to major microbicides-related events or other advocacy opportunities. This is issue 2 (11-24 August 2009):
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Six-African country Microbicides study will present results in November 2009
A microbicide study involving 11 000 women from six African countries will present its results in November, deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe told a South African National AIDS Council conference. "Positive results would add to the tools that women could use to protect themselves from HIV," Motlanthe said at the HIV prevention for women and girls summit in Kempton Park. "Many women, especially those who live in poor settings, do not have the ability or the knowledge to negotiate safer sex, this despite the fact that we have a Constitution that is deeply rooted in a human rights culture," he said. Read more

Gel could block HIV like a condom
The 'molecular condom' was designed by scientists at the University of Utah in the United States. If it passes clinical trials, it will enable women to protect themselves against HIV without approval from their partners. Women would insert it before intercourse and the acidic conditions of the vagina would ensure it remained liquid, allowing it to coat the vaginal walls and therefore the cells vulnerable to HIV infection. The presence of semen makes the vagina less acidic, and it is expected that this change in pH will cause the molecules within the gel to interact and turn semisolid. The resulting mesh would be so small, virus particles would be unable to penetrate. Unlike existing microbicides, this molecular condom appears not to be affected by high temperatures, making it potentially suitable for use in hot developing countries. Read more

How condoms for men could be a thing of the past
For years, researchers have been working on microbicides (intravaginal gels, rings, and films) that can prevent the transmission of viruses such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Only a handful ever made it to human clinical trial, and ran into issues such as women not using them, or the antiviral drugs in the microbicides not lasting long enough. Some microbicides even seemed to increase the risk of transmission. Read more

Elusive 'holy grail' - an effective microbicide or a vaccine
The behavioural scientists at the recently concluded 5th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (Cape Town, South Africa) were keen to emphasise that HIV prevention will need to include a range of responses such as continuing safe sex behaviour, circumcision, plus the elusive ‘holy grail’ – an effective microbicide or vaccine. Read more
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Upcoming events related to Microbicides
Microbicides International Conference, 2010 - Building bridges in HIV Prevention, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA (22-25 May 2010)
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Produced and disseminated by Citizen News Service (CNS) for Microbicides Society of India (MSI)

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