Specific microbicides in the prevention of HIV infection

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Microbicides are products that are designed for application at vaginal or rectal mucosae to inhibit or block early events in HIV infection and thereby prevent transmission of HIV. Currently, the most advanced microbicides in the development pipeline are based on highly active anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs). Significant protection of women by vaginally applied tenofovir gel, demonstrated in the CAPRISA 004 trial, has provided proof-of-concept that microbicides can be effective. The rationale for investigating ARVs and other compounds as vaginal or rectal microbicides is discussed together with approaches to improve efficacy by the development of combination microbicides and by new formulations that may increase user acceptance.

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