Study shows
microbicide prevents HIV and herpes

The first
small-scale human study of the experimental microbicide PRO
2000, developed by Indevus Pharmaceuticals, shows that the
compound is highly effective in preventing both HIV
and herpes infections, researchers report in the
January 1 edition of the Journal of Infectious
The researchers tested the compound in
20 HIV-negative women, half of whom were given a gel
containing a 0.5% concentration of PRO 2000 and the other
half a placebo. Vaginal cell samples taken from the
women and then exposed to HIV showed that PRO 2000
inhibited HIV infection at least 1,000-fold. The
compound also significantly reduced herpes infection risk,
the researchers report.

The study was the
first to gauge the effectiveness of PRO 2000 after
application in humans, reports Lab and animal
tests have shown that the compound is highly effective
in preventing HIV infections. PRO 2000 works by
binding to the surface of HIV and preventing it from
being able to latch on to immune system cells and infect

Although PRO
2000—and other microbicide products currently in
development at other companies—has been tested
primarily among heterosexual women, many researchers
believe the compounds also may be effective in helping
to reduce HIV infections among sexually active gay men.

studies of PRO 2000 are planned. (

Tags: Health, Health

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