Saturday, October 22, 2011

Medical Breakthrough? A Gel That Reduces Risk Of Herpes And HIV

Call it an antiviral one-two punch. An HIV-fighting drug has been shown to be even more effective against genital herpes when it's applied as a gel, new research shows.

A study released this week by the journal Cell Host & Microbe that tested the gel on women in South Africa (where the risk of HIV and herpes is great) found that the anti-HIV/AIDS drug tenofovir reduced herpes infections by 51% and HIV infections by 39%.
In human tissue, the drug inhibits enzymes that the virus needs in order to replicate. But to protect against herpes, tenofovir needs to be topically applied to the vaginal canal -- taking a pill isn't enough. Participants in the study were asked to apply the gel topically before and after sex.

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