All this because men don't want to wear condoms. One commenter on the article pointed out, the author states that women are subject to the decision of whether a man will use a condom. (See text under the picture).
A vaginal microbicide can cut HIV infection rates by 39 percent in women, researchers announced Monday. And female study participants who inserted the gel as directed reduced their chances of contracting HIV by more than half (54 percent). The news is a stunning, positive development, especially for women at risk for sexual transmission, in a field that has been plagued by two decades of failed and aborted trials.
A reliable HIV-prevention method for women has thus far proved hard to come by, leaving many millions of at-risk women subject to their partner's decision about condoms.
"This antiretroviral microbicide could potentially fill an important HIV prevention gap, especially for women unable to successful negotiate mutual monogamy or condom use."
The findings are "the first clinical evidence that a microbicide gel can help to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV infection" and are "a great boost to the microbicide field," he noted.
But this use of tenofovir has yet to be approved by any regulatory bodies and thus, it cannot be sold or marketed.
Although the transmission rate was much improved over previous vaginal microbicide gel studies, 39 percent is hardly a perfect solution—it is not wildly higher than the researchers' pre-study goal of a 33 percent efficacy cut off.
If the gel does get approval from South African regulatory bodies, it might make it into clinics cheaply, as the Contraceptive Research and Development program and tenofovir maker Gilead Sciences agreed that the South African government could make the product without paying royalties.Read more at www.scientificamerican.com