Experimental Microbicide To Be Tested on HIV-Positive Women in Thailand
An experimental microbicide developed in Australia is scheduled to be tested for safety and efficacy in clinical trials among HIV-positive women in Thailand, Thailand's Nation reports (Arthit, Nation, 10/9). Microbicides include a range of products -- such as gels, films and sponges -- that could help prevent the sexual transmission of HIV and other infections (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/29). The Australian microbicide, called Viva Gel, will be tested among an unspecified number of HIV-positive women for one to two weeks. The women will be given roughly 10 cubic centimeters of the gel once daily, and researchers will check to see if the gel reduces the amount of HIV in the vagina and produces any side effects. Although clinical trials of microbicides have been conducted on HIV-negative people in Thailand, the latest trial marks the first such tests of a microbicide among HIV-positive people in the country, Praphan Phanuphak, director of the Thai Red Cross Society's AIDS Research Center, said. "One in three HIV-positive women have an HIV-negative male partner," Praphan said, adding, "Many of these women decide to tell their partners they have HIV, yet fail to convince them to use condoms as the men simply do not believe it's true." The gel more than a year ago was proven safe in a smaller trial involving 24 HIV-negative women in Australia, and no significant side effects were detected, Praphan said (Nation, 10/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.