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New Method Of HIV Prevention Found

Audio

Aired 7/20/10

Women in Sub-Saharan Africa are at especially high-risk of getting infected with H-I-V. Health officials say a clinical trial testing a new method of H-I-V prevention has shown remarkable results. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has details from the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - Health officials at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria say a clinical trial that tested a new method of HIV prevention has shown remarkable results.

The 18-month trial involved nearly 900 women in South Africa. Half of the women used a vaginal gel before and after sex that contained the anti-retroviral drug tenofovir. The other half used a placebo gel.

The women who used the tenofovir gel had a 39 percent lower rate of HIV infection than women who used the placebo.

“It is a prevention revolution. It’s the first time that women can have a preventive tool which they can initiate and control themselves,” said Michel Sidibe, the executive director of UNAIDS.

Researchers point out that the gel’s effectiveness appeared to decline after 18 months. They say further studies are needed.

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