A new vaginal ring just entering human trials would release both levonorgestrel, a hormonal contraceptive, and tenofovir, an antiretroviral that has been shown to inhibit the replication of HIV and herpes simplex virus-2.
This week, a novel approach to infertility is announced, a new vaginal ring might be able to protect from HIV transmission, and the answer to preventing drug-resistant gonorrhea may be in our own immune systems.
Two separate research efforts—one looking to prevent STD transmission and the other looking to treat cancer—may ultimately lead to new options in contraception including a pill for men and a vaginal ring that prevents both STDs and pregnancy. But the journey from lab to pharmacy is long and we shouldn’t forget the good methods we already have.
In this week’s sexual health roundup: scientists in China discover an HIV-blocking molecule that may become the basis for an effective microbicide; psychologists find that men believe women in red are more attractive and more willing to have sex; and the FDA approves a competitor to Viagra that acts fasters but warns that over-the-counter versions might not be all natural as promised.
Recent advances in HIV prevention promise to catalyze the global effort to reverse the spread of HIV. But we also must ensure that the estimated 33 million already living with the virus have access to quality sexual and reproductive health services.
Woman-initiated prevention methods are key to the fight against HIV because they offer agency and protection to a disproportionally vulnerable demographic—women.
Proof that PrEP works – that there is, literally, a pill can help to prevent HIV — is an extraordinary breakthrough, as was the news received last summer that an effective vaginal microbicide had been identified. But what does a study focused on people engaging in rectal-penile sex have to do with women and their reproductive health? There are many ways to answer that question — some of them cause for celebration and some reasons for real concern.
Promising results of a new study released this week at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria, suggest an effective HIV prevention method for women may be ready for marketing in a few years.
Multipurpose prevention technologies were the focus of Advancing Prevention Technologies for Sexual and Reproductive Health, an international symposium held in Berkeley, CA, in March 2009. For 2 days, more than 150 participants from developing and industrialized countries discussed and debated the opportunities and challenges for advancing technologies that address multiple sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs. The symposium proceedings draw from those presentations and the subsequent discussions.2 This editorial seeks to convey the key points of these discussions and engage health care professionals in the effort to fulfill the potential that these technologies might offer.
HIV vaccine and microbicide researchers at the International AIDS Conference emphasized the need for truly novel ideas in moving forward in discovery.