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HIV Prevention- New Vaginal Microbicide Gel

A study related to the prevention of HIV was conducted by CAPRISA and revealed at the International AIDS Conference. It took CAPRISA many years to get to the stage they are at now. CAPRISA, which stands for Centre for the Aids Programme of Research In South Africa, is a non-profit organization determined to do something about HIV.

The discovery made was that a vaginal microbicide gel could lower the number of HIV infections in women substantially; by almost 40% in fact. The vaginal gel is made up of a drug called tenofovir. Tenofovir is responsible for bringing an end to HIV virus multiplication. It was also found that this gel decreased the risk of developing genital herpes which is quite common in the United States.

The vaginal microbicide gel is not yet available for people to purchase. It is currently being tested. Side effects of this drug consisted mostly of diarrhea. Other than that there were not really any major side effects. In general, the drug seems to be taken by the body with little to no complication.

The only complication that CAPRISA is faced with is not having enough funding to continue the necessary research and then finally get the medication out to the public. Despite all of this, this new finding has opened so many new doors for the future.

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-BS Pharm, PharmD, RPh

Dr. Paul Zickler is a graduate of the University of Wester Ontario in 1972. After graduating from the faculty of medicine, Dr. Zickler practiced as an Emergency Physician for 18 years. He has then operated ambulatory medical and travel clinics for 12 years. Dr. Zickler has become an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of British Columbia, a Director of Professional Programs for the Justice Institute of British Columbia (paramedic academy), a principal investigator for Phase 2 and 3 studies researching vaccines, and a founding member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association. Dr. Zickler is passionate about combining western prescription medicine and natural medicines.

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