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AIDS. 1996 Dec;10 Suppl 3:S43-51.

Female-controlled methods to prevent sexual transmission of HIV.

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  • 1Population Council, Bangkok, Thailand.


THE NEED FOR PREVENTION: Women throughout the world face a growing risk of infection with HIV. Consistent condom use, one cornerstone of primary prevention strategy, is not always feasible for many women. Consequently, women urgently need infection prevention technology that is within their personal control.


This session will review current efforts to develop and test female-controlled methods for preventing sexual transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted pathogens. Both physical and chemical methods will be summarized, including recent findings concerning the efficacy and acceptability of the vaginal pouch (female condom), as well as an overview of research on vaginal microbicides. Data from studies of existing over-the-counter spermicides will be reviewed. The wide range of novel microbicidal products currently being evaluated in the laboratory and early clinical trials demonstrate the breadth of possibilities presented by chemical barrier methods. However, formidible challenges face public and private sector research and development efforts. This session will conclude by highlighting several issues related to the clinical evaluation and introduction of female-controlled prevention technology.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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