Today in New Delhi, India
Sep 21, 2018-Friday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Anti-HIV creams for women

In the struggle against the ticking time-bomb called AIDS, microbicides are now emerging as a potent possibility that could effectively check the spread of the dreaded disease.

india Updated: Dec 13, 2003 12:55 IST

In the struggle against the ticking time-bomb called AIDS, microbicides are now emerging as a potent possibility that could effectively check the spread of the dreaded disease.

Microbicides refer to a range of different products such as gels, creams, suppositories, films or sponges, that have the ability to kill, neutralise or block HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) when applied locally before sexual intercourse.

Being hailed as a powerful woman-controlled method, researchers and policymakers alike regret that microbicide research has been severely under-funded and politically marginalised despite its enormous scientific and public health potential.

In addition to an HIV vaccine, these researchers argue, the world urgently needs a topical microbicide that would act as the first barrier to HIV infection. It might also be able to arrest the spread of other STDs that an HIV vaccine would be unlikely to affect. For Indian women, microbicides assume an added significance given the fact that a large percentage of them do not control the sexual and/or drug-using behaviour of their male partners.

First Published: Nov 30, 2003 21:36 IST