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Anti-AIDS Gel in the works

Public Health Anti-AIDS gel 2005

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#1 QueenTiye

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 04:23 PM

http://story.news.ya...he_me/un_aids_1

Quote

Anti-AIDS Gel Expected in 3 to 4 Years

Thu Apr 14,11:52 AM ET

By ERICA BULMAN, Associated Press Writer

GENEVA - The United Nations AIDS chief predicted Thursday that a vaginal gel that protects women from contracting HIV during intercourse could be ready in as little three to four years.

With the successful development of a vaccine still nowhere in sight, UNAIDS chief Peter Piot said a gel designed to thwart the transmission of the AIDS virus during sex would be the next best thing.

"Where we have better hope is something at least as important, and that is a so-called microbicide," Piot said, adding there were currently about 15 HIV/AIDS microbicide products being tested around the world. "Conceptually, it's straightforward, whereas with the vaccine we still don't know where to go.

Quote

Nearly half the 39.4 million people infected with HIV worldwide are female. Three-quarters of all HIV-positive women live in sub-Saharan Africa. About 57 percent of the adults with HIV are women.

Women often have to rely on whether their male partner is faithful and uses a condom, Piot said. Abstinence is often not an option, especially in marriage, and negotiating the use of a condom within any relationship in any culture is difficult.

"Over half of all new infections today occur in women," Piot said. "Because of this increasing feminization of the epidemic we need ways to protect women and ways that are under the control of women, preferably one a male partner wouldn't even know the woman is using.

Indeed, these two quotes say it all for me... the availability of a drug to prevent AIDS in women who are inherently poised as victims in the AIDS epidemic is a plus for EVERYONE, not just women.

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#2 Atavus

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 05:22 PM

Interesting, I hope they can get this to work. :)
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#3 Nick

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 06:28 PM

I wonder what its contraceptive properties would be . . . With how delicate sperm are, I'm afraid that something that destroys HIV would easily kill most if not all sperm as well.  That may sound like an odd thing to say, but if this gel is viewed by cultural organizations as a contraceptive, it may hinder widespread use.  (the Catholic church is opposed to contraception, and that stance has a big effect on behavior in some of the worst-hit nations, for instance).

-Nick

#4 WildChildCait

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 03:41 AM

One of hte problems I see is if it's only partially effective (which is better than nothing!) but if people expect it to be completely effective....

And of course, getting it to the places that need it the most and pricing it within the range of the women who need it most!
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#5 Josh

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 03:46 AM

Um, okay. That's fine. But what about all the gay men who contract it as well. Are they just going to be ignored?
"THE UNICORNS ARE NOT TO BE TRIFLED WITH!" - John Burke.

#6 WildChildCait

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 03:49 AM

Josh,

In hte UK at least, gay men are one of the groups where new infections are the lowest from what i've read...apparently, they at least are smart enough to get the message!

However, all things considered, I'd guess that a gel a woman can use would also be usable by gay men! after all, the prinicipal is the same. But it's probably targetted at women 'cause there are more of them than gay men.
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#7 Josh

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 03:57 AM

Huh... I guess the demographics have changed while I haven't been getting any. ;)

Point taken. In context of the thread, I worry the most about the points that Nick has brought up.
"THE UNICORNS ARE NOT TO BE TRIFLED WITH!" - John Burke.

#8 Atavus

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 04:12 AM

Nick, on Apr 15 2005, 12:28 AM, said:

I wonder what its contraceptive properties would be . . . With how delicate sperm are, I'm afraid that something that destroys HIV would easily kill most if not all sperm as well. 

-Nick

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, I think that was what they want to happen. They mentioned something in the article (sorry, it won't load for me at the moment) about it effectively being spermicide when they come into contact with the gel.
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#9 Rhea

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 11:33 AM

:cool:  :cool:
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#10 Rhea

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 11:38 AM

:cool:  :cool:
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#11 QueenTiye

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 11:52 AM

Josh, on Apr 15 2005, 04:46 AM, said:

Um, okay. That's fine. But what about all the gay men who contract it as well. Are they just going to be ignored?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


As it mentions in the article - more than half the newly reported cases each year have been women.  The threat of women contracting AIDS is babies being born with AIDS and women transmitting it to men.  And, unlike with gay men, where the issue of condom use is more readily embraced... women are frequently in situations where they just don't have that option.  The point of the article is all about allowing women to protect themselves on their own initiative, whether or not their partners agree to use condoms.

HM07

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#12 HubcapDave

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 01:53 PM

Good point Handmaiden.



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