Feb 10, 2009
Until now, the news on HIV microbicides—gels, creams and foams applied to the vagina and rectum to prevent transmission of the disease—has been dismal. Study after study failed to show that they block transmission of HIV, the virus that leads to full-blown AIDS. But new research presented yesterday at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Montreal suggests that one microbicide just might do the job.
"Up until this point, every other microbicide study for HIV in humans has either shown absolutely no effect whatsoever, or in some studies it's actually shown [that they] increase the risk of infection," says Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). "Although [this study] is not a slam dunk at all, it's the first hint that a microbicide might ultimately turn out to be helpful."
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The Seeker for this Challenge desires proposals for chemical methods that could rapidly degrade a dilute aqueous solution
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