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Microbicide trials set to begin

An AIDS vaccine is one experimental approach to preventing HIV infection; a microbicide is another. A microbicide is a topical cream, gel, ointment or suppository that could be used vaginally or rectally to protect against sexual transmission of HIV. No effective preventive microbicides that protect against HIV have been developed yet - like AIDS vaccines, all microbicide candidates are still in various stages of experimental evaluation. By the end of 2005, as many as five large-scale trials of six microbicide candidates could be under way (see below). To learn more about microbicides see this month’s Spotlight.

 Planned or ongoing microbicide efficacy trials: 2004-2005

 Product (class)  Primary research group Proposed start date   Sites and sample size
 BufferGel (acid buffer)

PRO 2000 0.5% (polyanion)

 HIV Prevention Trials Network  September 2004 3,100 women at 8 sites (Malawi, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, India, USA)
 Cellulose sulfate (polyanion)  Global Microbicide Project  Q4 2004  2,574 women at 6 sites (Benin, Burkina Faso, Kenya, India, South Africa)
 Cellulose sulfate (polyanion)  Family Health International and Global Microbicide Project  June 2004  2,160 women at 2 sites in Nigeria
 Carraguard (polyanion)  Population Council  March 2004  6,300 women in South Africa 

PRO 2000 2% (polyanion)

Dextrin-2-sulfate (polyanion)

 UK Microbicides Development Programme  Q1 2005  ~12,300 women in Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda
 SAVVY (surfactant)  Family Health International  March 2004  2,142 women, 2 studies combined (Nigeria, Ghana)