Re-formulation of microbicidal lubricants will help protect from HIV

March 7, 2011

Microbicides can be used to protect against HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases, either on their own or with the added protection of a condom. New research published by BioMed Central's open access journal AIDS Research and Therapy has investigated the use of lubricants, originally designed for vaginal application, and has developed and tested new, rectal specific, formulations.

Unprotected sex is one of the major ways that HIV spreads through the population. However most research has focused on the production of vaginal microbicides which, due to differences in pH, native bacterial populations (microflora), and thickness of the epithelium, may not be safe as rectal microbicides. Researchers at the Magee Woman's Research Institute, University of Pittsburgh, have shown that some and silicone-based , but not the water-based ones they tested, significantly weakened the integrity of condoms making them more likely to break.

With this in mind Prof. Rohan's group has formulated four different lubricants, both water and lipid based, and in different formats, as a fluid or gel, which are currently being tested in clinical trials. Prof. Rohan said, "This is the first stage in the production of targeted microbicidal products. If successful these lubricants will provide a basis for the inclusion of different types of antibiotics, , and other drugs. Once completed these products will help reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted disease and bring hope in the fight to stop the spread of .

Explore further: Vaginal microbicides may prevent more infections in men than women

More information: Rectal microbicides: clinically relevant approach to the design of rectal specific placebo formulations, Lin Wang, Roger L Schnaare, Charlene Dezzutti, Peter A. Anton, and Lisa C. Rohan, AIDS Research and Therapy (in press)

Related Stories

Researchers reformulate tenofovir vaginal gel for rectal use

February 28, 2011

A change in the formulation of tenofovir gel, an anti-HIV gel developed for vaginal use, may make it safer to use in the rectum, suggests research presented today at the 18th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

( -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.