The benevolent powers of the vaginal microbiome are even greater than we thought. In addition to aiding fertilization and protecting fetuses during pregnancy, healthy vaginal mucus that’s full of good bacteria can trap and immobilize HIV particles. The study examined the cervicovaginal mucus, or CVM, of 31 women and tested its ability to immobilize HIV particles. CVM samples that contained higher concentrations of D-lactic acid, which only bacteria can produce, did far better than others. The D-lactic acid wasn’t itself a barrier to HIV, but an indicator of something else going on that made certain types of CVM better at trapping the virus than others.
That something was Lactobacillus crispatus, a species of bacteria that could change the way we think about HIV prevention.
08 October 2015 | Slate
An experimental silicone vaginal ring with separate compartments may be able to deliver both tenofovir for prevention of HIV infection and acyclovir for prevention of genital herpes and potentially other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), according to a report at the 55th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) last weekin San Diego.
28 September 2015 | HIVandHepatitis.com
A microbicide gel initially intended to offer protection against HIV has been found to be effective against herpes. Herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in South Africa. In the latest study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (Caprisa) showed that Tenofovir gel halved the risk of developing herpes simplex virus type 2 – a virus that is a leading cause of genital ulcers.
13 August 2015 | Independent Online (South Africa)
HIV Prevention Research & Development Funding Trends 2000–2014: Investment Priorities To Fund Innovation In An Evolving Global Health And Development Landscape is the 11th annual report by the Working Group, a collaboration among AVAC, UNAIDS, and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). The report summarizes investment in HIV prevention research across eight prevention options, as well as HSV-2 vaccine and HIV cure and therapeutic vaccine R&D.
19 July 2015 | AVAC
In a first for HIV prevention, researchers have completed follow-up of participants in a pivotal Phase III trial that tested a vaginal ring for preventing HIV in women. The ring, which contains the ARV dapivirine, is meant to be worn for a month at a time. More than 2,600 African women took part in ASPIRE, one of two Phase III trials designed to support potential licensure of the ring. Results are expected early 2016.
29 June 2015 | Eurekalert Medicine & Health
Scientists at the University of York, in conjunction with the York Clinical Research Facility, will start the first phase of trials looking into a new way to prevent HIV transmission.
18 February 2015 | HIV / AIDS News From Medical News Today
The failure of the VOICE trial of H.I.V.-prevention methods in Africa — and the elaborate deceptions employed by the women in it — have opened an ethical debate about how to run such studies in poor countries and have already changed the design of some that are now underway.
05 February 2015 | New York Times
HIV/Aids researchers are anticipating positive results from a large-scale trial assessing the efficacy of a vaginal microbicide gel in preventing HIV infection in women.
21 January 2015 | AllAfrica.com
Dr. Deborah Anderson from Boston University School of Medicine and her colleagues are challenging dogma about the transmission of HIV. Most research has focused on infection by free viral particles, while this group proposes that HIV is also transmitted by infected cells. While inside cells, HIV is protected from antibodies and other antiviral factors. Anderson chides fellow researchers for not using cell-associated HIV in their transmission models: "The failure of several recent vaccine and microbicide clinical trials to prevent HIV transmission may be due in part to this oversight." . The Journal of Infectious Diseases (JID) has devoted their December supplement to this important and understudied topic.
23 December 2014 | Medical News Today
Zeda Rosenberg, Chief Executive Offiver of the International Partnership for Microbicides, says: "While there is much progress to celebrate in HIV treatment and prevention, protecting women remains a major challenge. AIDS is the number-one killer of women ages 15 to 44 worldwide. Women are biologically more vulnerable to infection and face deep-rooted gender inequities that increase their risk. In sub-Saharan Africa, where the epidemic has taken the greatest toll, young women are at least twice as likely to contract HIV as young men."
26 November 2014 | Huffington Post