Gel Intended to Prevent AIDS in Women Actually Increases Their Risks

A new gel designed to help protect women from the AIDS virus has shown disappointing results. The gel, which goes by the name of Ushercell and is produced by a company called Polydex Pharmaceuticals, is a microbicide that is intended to stop women from getting infected with the deadly virus. Unfortunately, it was actually found to increase the chance of a woman becoming infected.

39 million people around the world are infected with AIDS - Half of which are women

In the preliminary trials, which involved 500 women, there was no indication of an increased risk of infection. The advanced trial, which involved 1,333 women from Benin, South Africa, India, and Uganda showed different results. As a result, the second trial that was supposed to take place in Nigeria was stopped.

Similar trials had taken place previously with a spermicide called nonoxynol-9. This gel was also found it increase the risk of HIV infection rather than reduce it.

The World Health Organization and UNAIDS were both involved with coordinating the trial studies. Both organizations are obviously disappointed with the results and have stated they are unsure of why the gels were not only unsuccessful, but actually had the opposite of the desired results. The organizations claim to have three other compounds that are being studied for preventing HIV infection. All three are in the advanced stages of trials.

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