Australia: Lemons Fail Acid Test in HIV War
July 24, 2007
Today at the 4th International AIDS Society Conference in Sydney, researchers reported that vaginal douching with citrus juice had no effect on the spread of HIV in women.
Lemons have long been used in the hope of preventing pregnancy. After laboratory tests showed lemon juice killed HIV, University of Melbourne reproductive biologist Roger Short was prompted to study whether it could be used as a weapon against AIDS.
Along with US and Nigerian clinicians, Short studied almost 400 female sex workers in Jos, Nigeria. About a fifth used lemon and lime juice as an STD preventative, while the rest did not. Tests for HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B and C showed there were no statistically significant differences in the infection rates between the two groups.
"Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to have worked," said Short. The study did show, however, that lemon juice did not promote the spread of HIV, as some scientist had feared.
Study leader Godwin Imade of the University of Jos said further research that controls for factors such as condom use, the amount of juice used, and the timing of douching is needed.
The Age (Melbourne)
7.24.2007; Chee Chee Leung
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.