The researchers hope that the completed trials will demonstrate a significant decrease -- at least 50% -- in HIV incidence among CS users compared to placebo users, and a measurable reduction in incidence of gonorrhea and chlamydia. A 50% decrease would be an enormous step towards reducing new infections and cost savings -- based on mathematical modeling of 73 countries with GDP of less than $1,200/year and all sub-Saharan countries, a microbicide of 50% efficacy and 20% service coverage would prevent 2.5 million new infections, leading to $3.7 billion in direct cost savings to health systems and indirect cost savings through increased productivity.
CONRAD and FHI, the primary organizations conducting these trials, have a long history of collaboration in microbicide development and have put together an excellent team of researchers to maximize the probability of a successful outcome.
The microbicide field has built an extraordinary amount of scientific momentum, with several first-generation candidates entering large-scale human trials around the world. At the same time, new products, based upon recent advances in HIV treatment, are already well into safety trials. Given current scientific advancements, and the identification of a number of potential microbicidal agents, an effective microbicide could be developed by the end of the decade, and once available, could well change the course of the AIDS epidemic.