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Microbicidal gel to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV.


Int Conf AIDS. 1996 Jul 7-12;11(2):16 (abstract no. We.A.512). Unique

Objective: To prevent the sexual transmission of HIV with the use of a microbicidal gel applied topically to the vaginal, cervical and/or ano-rectal mucosa. Methods: In vitro experiments have been performed to evaluate the cytotoxicity of the gel formulation in human cervical (ME-180) and colon epithelial (HT-29) cells. The efficacy of the gel to block HIV transmission has been evaluated in cell culture inserts by monitoring levels of virus particles diffusing through the gel and membrane with a p24 assay. The efficacy of the gel to prevent infection of T-lymphocytes has been determined by measuring reverse transcriptase activity in supernatant. The tolerance and toxicity of the gel preparation on the vaginal and cervical mucosa of New-Zealand rabbits has been also investigated. Results: The gel formulation was shown to be non-cytotoxic when applied on both human cervical and colon epithelial cells. On the other hand, results clearly demonstrated that the gel alone could act as a physical barrier which could prevent the HIV transmission. In addition, the gel delays and decreases the infection of Sup-T1 cells when compared to control without gel. Tolerance and toxicity experiments, performed in rabbits, showed that the topical application of the gel once daily for two weeks did not induce any vascularization, irritation and ulceration to the vaginal and cervical mucosa of animals. In addition, histological examinations of the different mucosa showed no oedema, leukocyte infiltration or vascularization. Conclusion: Entrapment of microbicides into a gel formulation and applied to the vaginal, cervical and/or ano-rectal mucosa could represent a convenient strategy to reduce the sexual transmission of HIV by acting as a physical, chemical or pharmacological barrier. Such microbicidal gels could also prolong the local microbicidal activity, eliminate local irritation and reduce systemic side effects of incorporated active agents. Taken together, these results indicate that the use of microbicidal gels could represent an innovative preventive measure which could be highly effective to reduce the transmission of HIV.

*Anti-Infective Agents, Local/THERAPEUTIC USE *Epithelium/DRUG EFFECTS *HIV Infections/PREVENTION & CONTROL *Sexually Transmitted Diseases/PREVENTION & CONTROL *T-Lymphocytes/DRUG EFFECTS


Information in this article was accurate in January 30, 1997. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.