International trial of two microbicides begins

h laboratory and animal testing. It is believed to act by inhibiting the entry of HIV and other pathogens into body cells. BufferGel, a product of ReProtect, Inc., Baltimore, MD, boosts the natural acidity of the vagina in the presence of seminal fluid that neutralizes the vaginal environment. An acidic environment inactivates HIV as well as other pathogens.

Each woman in the trial will be placed at random into one of four equally sized groups. One group will use BufferGel before each act of sexual intercourse, one group will use PRO 2000, one group will use a placebo gel, and the final group will not use any gel. In addition, all participants will receive condoms and extensive prevention counseling at each clinic visit.

The trial is one of numerous studies conducted through NIH's HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), which is funded by NIAID, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Mental Health. More information about this study (HPTN 035) is available at www.hptn.org/index.htm. The protocol chair of the study is Salim Abdool Karim, MBChB, Ph.D., of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.


Contact: Anne A. Oplinger
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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