Female Hormone Estrogen Could Help Prevent HIV Transmission in Men, Study Finds
June 5, 2008
The female hormone estrogen when applied to the penis boosts a defensive protein that acts as a "living condom" and could reduce a man's risk of contracting HIV, according to a study published online Wednesday in PLoS One, the AAP/New Zealand Herald reports.
"We have found a new avenue to possibly prevent HIV infection of the penis," Short said, adding, "In countries where circumcision is not religiously or culturally accepted, estrogen treatments to the penis could be very effective in reducing the spread of the disease" (Xinhua/People's Daily, 6/4). Although the treatment did not protect against other sexually transmitted infections, Pask said it could be a simple, inexpensive and effective guard against HIV that could be applied once weekly or eventually have applications in condoms and lubricants. Pask added that the treatment could significantly reduce HIV/AIDS caseloads over time. "Mathematical models would predict that within say 50 or 60 years, that the level of HIV in the world would be significantly reduced," he said (AAP/New Zealand Herald, 6/4).
The study is available online.
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.