Trials Begin on HIV Gel for Women
July 10, 2007
Forty US women are taking part in a two-week trial of a vaginal microbicide designed to block HIV and other STDs, Australia-based Starpharma Holdings Ltd., the drug's maker, said today. VivaGel is currently being tested at the University of South Florida and the University of Puerto Rico in sexually active, HIV-negative women ages 18-24.
The goal of the US National Institutes of Health-funded trial is to determine the safety and ease of use of VivaGel, said Dr. Jackie Fairley, StarPharma's chief. "We have already conducted clinical trials on the safety of VivaGel in sexually inactive women and men, but this is the first time the product will be used in sexually active young women, one of our target populations," said Fairley.
The drug maker cited statistics that show 60 percent of US women with HIV are in the 15-24 age group, highlighting how critical such a product could become to young women.
"This study, in addition to the usual safety data, will collect valuable information regarding the product's use and acceptability in the consumer setting," said Fairley. "The data from this trial will provide information of value to the development of VivaGel for all indications, including preventing the spread of genital herpes."
Australian Associated Press
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.