IRMA and AVAC held a teleconference to provide an up-close look at important new microbicide data of relevance for prevention advocates. Peter Anton of UCLA and Craig Hendrix of Johns Hopkins University reviewed the findings they presented at the recent 18th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston.
Peter Anton discussed a rectal microbicide safety trial (RMP 02/MTN 006), which showed that the 1% tenofovir gel developed to protect against HIV during vaginal sex (and tested in CAPRISA 004) was readily absorbed by cells in the rectal tissue. As Anton will noted, participants used the product daily for a week and provided rectal tissue biopsies. The concentration of 1% tenofovir gel in those biopsies inhibited HIV replication. This finding moves the field closer to proof of concept that 1% tenofovir gel could help reduce the risk of HIV infection via anal sex. Anton also talked about the finding that the vaginal gel formulation was shown to be sub-optimal for rectal use and has since been re-formulated.
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