New Vaginal Gel to Protect Women Even Hours after Sex

New Vaginal Gel to Protect Women Even Hours after SexHere is a new vaginal gel to protect women from HIV even three hours after sex. There are various vaginal gels that contain antiretroviral drugs - indispensable for HIV prevention - but they all can only be applied before having sex. However, the gel developed by US researchers containing the human immunodeficiency virus drug raltegravir can be effective to prevent HIV infection to cells even three hours after sexual intercourse.

The gel has been tested successfully on monkeys so far, but researchers are optimistic that the gel will work effectively on women as well. The HIV virus can be transmitted through blood, semen and breast milk. However, most people get the virus during sexual interaction. Africa has the highest cases of AIDS in the world. Of all HIV cases in Africa, 60% are women, with majority of them getting the infection from their husband.

The US researchers behind the creation of the new gel are of the belief that their version is more practical because it will give more control to women and would require less preparation before sex and require less partner acceptance.

A macaque model was used by the researchers to assess efficacy and it was found that applying the gel 30 minutes before exposure prevented two of three macaques from SIHV, which is a combination of HIV and a related monkey virus. But the best part was that the gel was equally effective even three hours after SHIV exposure.