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Could contribute an almost 30-year campaign against AIDS

Researchers may have found a HIV preventative gel, which contains an AIDS drug already on the market, that could decrease a woman's chances of getting HIV in half. It was announced at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, but further testing is required to make sure the product is safe and effective. 

AIDS has claimed 25 million lives total, and 33 million more are infected by HIV. Of this total, two-thirds are from sub-Saharan Africa. In this area, 60 percent of new infections develop among women and young females. 

For years, the only way to prevent HIV infection was by the use of condoms and male circumcision, since the foreskin contains cells that are "vulnerable to penetration by HIV." But the latter only prevents HIV infection in males. 


The study was led by Quarraisha Abdool Karim and Salim Abdool Karim from the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) in Durban. It consisted of almost 900 South African women who were sexually active and between the ages of 18 and 40, where 444 received a placebo and 445 received the microbicide gel. It was conducted in both the urban setting of Durban and the rural setting of Pietermaritzburg in the KwaZulu-Natal province.

Over a three year period, these women were asked to apply the gel, which contains a mixture of antiretroviral drugs and a one percent formulation of tenofovir that interrupts the reproduction of HIV in immune cells, with a vaginal applicator within a 12 hour window before intercourse and within a 12 hour window after intercourse. They were then tested for HIV on a monthly basis. In comparison to the placebo group, those who used the microbicide reduced the risk of HIV by 39 percent overall. For those who used the microbicide more often, as directed, 54 percent of the risk of HIV was reduced. 

"Without this gel, we may see 10 women becoming infected in a year," said Salim Abdool Karim. "With this gel, we would see only six women becoming infected."

While no major side effects were observed over the course of the study, the gel did become less effective after 18 months of use, and researchers are looking into finding out why. Right now, they believe it may be due to the fact that 40 percent of the women "used the microbicide less than one time out of two." Also, they will continue testing the gel to make sure there are no long term side effects that will exist beyond a three year period. 

The study has been published in the journal Science and could prove to be a vital part of finding efficient, preventative ways to avoid HIV infection everywhere.



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RE: circumcision
By AssBall on 7/20/2010 10:12:58 PM , Rating: 4
Apparently you have strong feelings against improving upon what nature gives us. You're welcome to keep your appendix, tonsils, and foreskin. The problem I have is when people like you begin handing severe judgements down on anyone who doesn't follow your faith driven doctrine.


RE: circumcision
By Phoque on 7/21/2010 7:03:36 AM , Rating: 2
I respect people who make such decisions of their own. I'm just not comfortable with parents deciding for their kids about circumcision.

Telle me, how many of those who are circumsized when they are babies do you think would do it when they are an adult?

I wouldn't mind parting with my appendix and tonsils.

quote:
The problem I have is when people like you begin handing severe judgements down on anyone who doesn't follow your faith driven doctrine.


I assure you, it's only an opinion, a matter of feeling. I am strongly against following blindly doctrines and dogmas.


RE: circumcision
By medys on 7/21/2010 7:41:44 AM , Rating: 1
What do you care if somebody cuts piece of skin from your penis and you do not even remember it?

Also Circumcision is best done as early as possible because later either your parents have very high persuasion skills or you are scared of it, maybe even traumatized. If you do it even later it is even worse... Believe me its not funny if you get an erection and your schlange is not healed yet....

Talking about the drug :-/ I do not think 40% is good enough in such case. However prostitutes might find use for it.. Extra 40% will not hurt.


RE: circumcision
By tastyratz on 7/21/2010 8:39:11 AM , Rating: 3
2 comments

on circumcision: This is a hot button topic right now. Some believe its butchering and not allowing a child to make a decision, others believe its standard. It can also have religion based reasoning.
Depending on what country you are in circumcision can be the predominant choice

I present this however: Having the "weird penis" in the locker room could do some serious emotional damage to a young teen, just as grossing out your girlfriend, etc.
I will choose circumcision for this reason, I don't want my personal belief causing such an intimate part of my sons body when the time comes to be anything that makes him stand out in a negative respect, and I respect your choice also. If when the time comes to make the choice popularity drops like a rock and circumcised becomes the minority, I will choose not to.

No male will choose to chop their penis without severe trauma beforehand at an age old enough to decide. Whatever they have will be "normal to them".

with the gel: 40% is definitely useful enough because its 40% more than we have now. After thorough testing government mandate could force all lubricant manufacturers to include it in their formulas.
Maybe somday they will have more than 40%, but right now that's what we have and I will take it over 0%


RE: circumcision
By sprockkets on 7/21/2010 10:57:22 AM , Rating: 2
i bet if he knew what a sharp blade he would have for the ladies meant no guy would say no


RE: circumcision
By Phoque on 7/21/2010 4:16:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I present this however: Having the "weird penis" in the locker room could do some serious emotional damage to a young teen, just as grossing out your girlfriend, etc.


I get your point, but then you become a fashion victim. Each time the fashion changes, you have to adapt not to be the black sheep people will laugh at. I hope this is only one of the rare exception where people do that ( follow the crowd ), but I'm affraid not.

Also, kids which have had tough experiences while they were young, but were still well surrounded and supported socially, tend to be happier and stronger emotionnally than those who had it easy.


RE: circumcision
By tastyratz on 7/21/2010 9:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
getting life handed to you vs getting through a tough life for the better are very different. We aren't talking about a lisp when they were younger, we are talking about a whole different... "ball" game.
There are some times you want to make a fashion statement of individuality, but there are others where you don't. If my child were born with a miniature arm growing out of his forehead I would want it removed to be a fashion victim like the rest instead of teaching him how to triple flip people off.

You might as well be the kid with the forehead arm. When I was in high school my female friends made such sounds of disgust at the suggestion. I was glad as hell I wasn't uncircumcised.


RE: circumcision
By tygrus on 7/22/2010 5:41:03 AM , Rating: 2
50% effective over 12months. How many times were they exposed to HIV ? If exposed 5 out of 20 then it stopped 90% of potential infections. It still gives a wide window of potential infection. There may be a small difference between getting HIV this year compared to a year or two later. It's still may be useful to delay the spread, reduce the infection rate, reduce the number of births to affected parents and children to live longer before HIV affects parents.

The ineffectiveness over time may be because compliance rate drops as people become complacent. The immune system may react to the cream after many users and reduce it's effectiveness.


RE: circumcision
By acase on 7/21/2010 12:44:14 PM , Rating: 1
I am circumsized and I will probably have my son circumsized if I ever have one. However, I wish I could remember what they said, but I did see an episode of Penn and Teller's Bullshit where they brought up some really interesting and almost persuasive reasons against it. Obviously it wasn't persuasive enough though...


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