Hope on the horizon for HIV prevention in women using topical ARV gels
July 19th 2010, 900pm - The results of the CAPRISA 004 brings so much joy and hope for the many women and advocates in Nigeria and for us at the New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society: a coalition that has invested years in working towards gingering public support for New HIV Prevention Technology Research and Development in Nigeria. The study showed the ARV containing microbicide gel was 39% effective in reducing a woman’s risk of becoming infected with HIV during sex and 51% effective in preventing genital herpes infections in the women participating in the trial.
The CAPRISA 004 study was conducted in Africa. It was a study of 1% tenofovir - an antiretroviral drug widely used in the treatment of HIV – put in a gel and applied in the vagina 12 hours before and 12 hours after sex. The gel was not expected to be used more than twice in 24 hours. The study recruited 889 women from South Africa. Overall, 98 women out of the 889 became HIV positive during the trial—with 38 in the tenofovir gel group and 60 in the placebo gel group. The study was conducted with high scientific and ethical integrity with evidence of extensive community and national stakeholders engagement and support.
While this study is only a proof of concept study (only shows that ARV based microbicides can indeed prevent sexual transmission of HIV infection), this scientific breakthrough gives us much hope about the VOICE study.
We congratulate the entire CAPRISA team, who worked so hard to make this grounbraking reasearch a success story. We equally appreciate the trial participants, communities, The South African Government and the many other stakeholders around the world for helping to see to the successful conclusion of this important trial.
NHVMAS looks forward to the results of the VOICE study that will tell us more about the efficacy of this ARV based microbicides. We also look forward to hearing about the much needed work with regulatory agencies, product manufacturers and all other stakeholders that need to be mobilised now so as to ensure this product is in the hands of people who most need it in the shortest possible time IF and WHEN the VOICE study confirms this wonderful result.