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Friday 19th January 2018

AIDS gel trials fail on safety

21st February 2007

Two clinical trials in Africa and India aimed at developing a gel to prevent HIV infection during sex have been closed suddenly over safety concerns.


The trials of cellulose sulfate, or Ushercell, were financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Agency for Internet Development. They were halted when an independent review committee found an increased risk of HIV infection among the women using them.

In 2000, another potential microbicide gel - nonoxynol-9 - was also found to be unsafe.

AIDS researchers still hope that at least one of the other three potential gels now under testing will turn out to be safe and effective.

In the absence of an AIDS vaccine, specialists say development of a microbicide is needed to protect women whose partners refuse to use condoms, particularly in poorer countries.


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