Tenofovir Gel Cuts Women’s Risk Of HIV & Herpes

An antiviral gel called Tenofovir that can be applied before and after sex may reduce a woman’s risk for contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. The gel also reportedly reduces their risk of acquiring herpes. This is encouraging news for women around the world, who, until now were very limited in the ways that they could protect themselves.

The information was released on the heels of two studies. The participants in the studies were 900 women who live in South Africa, where the HIV infection rate is much higher than the United States. The studies will be published tomorrow in “Science.”

The vaginal antiretroviral gel called Tenofovir is made by Gilead Sciences. According to the study, the gel cut a woman’s risk of HIV infection from 54% to 39%, and also diminished their herpes risk rate by 51%.

According to researchers, the gel will still require a few years of study before it is made available to the general public, but all of the current indications look promising.

Other similar gels have been created, but scientists have never been able to find one that shows as much promise as Tenofovir.

“The winner in this is the woman who, for the first time since this scourge started, has a mechanism that helps her protect her body,” said Dr. Mamphela Ramphele.

It will be interesting to see how much promise further studies using the gel show. If the gel is found to consistently reduce the risk of infection, it would be a groundbreaking discovery.

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