New anti-HIV gel in the works

2014-03-14 10:58
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Cape Town – A vaginal gel, the first of its kind has been created, that when applied after sex has shown signs of preventing Aids in research monkeys say scientists.

According to eNCA researchers identified a drug in anti-HIV medicine that prevents the virus from joining or integrating with the DNA of monkeys.

Testing of this new gel is in its infancy, but scientists hope that this gel will be a more effective and practical way to prevent HIV/Aids.

There are currently gels on the market that have to be applied before sex, this new innovation will hopefully be a more effective anti-retroviral gel.

Developed by scientists in the US the gel contains a chemical called raltegravir. This new drug should decrease the amount of HIV in the blood.

Walid Heneine one of the researchers told media outlets that they identified an HIV-chemical that obstructs the virus from integrating with DNA.

The virus integrating with DNA takes about six hours and this is why there is a window period where medication can try to prevent the spread of the virus.

Six macaque monkeys were used to test the gel. Scientists applied the medication three hours after the monkeys were exposed to a simian immunodeficiency virus (a virus similar to HIV found in primates).

Tests showed that the gel stopped the virus from spreading to the monkeys DNA in five out of the six monkeys.

The results has been published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Heneine also stated that there is work being conducted into developing a rectal gel.

We may see these gels within the next 10 years after significant testing.
Read more on:    us  |  cape town  |  health  |  animals

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