Published Online July 19, 2010
Science DOI: 10.1126/science.329.5990.374
by Jon Cohen
For the first time ever, a vaginal gel has unequivocally blocked the transmission of HIV. In a trial that involved nearly 900 South African women, those who received a vaginal gel that contains an anti-HIV drug had a 39% lower chance of becoming infected by the virus than those who received a placebo. As reported today online in Science and in a presentation at the 18th International AIDS Conference in Vienna, of the 444 women who received a placebo gel, 60 became infected with HIV, versus 38 infections in the 445 women who received the microbicide. The result was statistically significant, and no serious side effects occurred.