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This HIV Gel Research? Hee Banna!

First of all, I’m very happy to hear about the HIV Gel Breakthrough and that finally there is something that women can use to protect themselves from acquiring HIV.

If you are confused, here’s the deal:

A World Aids Conference was held in Vienna and it is there that an announcement that after years of research, a breakthrough has been made…

What they said:

A breakthrough test of a vaginal gel to protect women against HIV unleashed a wave of optimism at the world AIDS conference. The prototype is the first vaginal gel to offer a strong degree of protection against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), according to results from the second phase of a three-stage trial.

This is the first time that there has been an unequivocally significant demonstration of the ability to block (HIV) acquisition in women by a microbicide. Further scrutiny is needed of the microbicide’s safety and effectiveness before it can be released to the public, experts cautioned.

Questions remain about whether the protection is high enough or whether the formula should be fine-tuned, and how the product would be used in real life rather than in test conditions.

But if these obstacles are overcome, a weapon of mighty proportions could emerge in the fight against AIDS, they said.

It would not only add to the tiny arsenal of options for preventing the spread of HIV. It would also empower women, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa, facing coercive sex from an infected partner who refuses to wear a condom.

All good and well. The part that got to me is this:

The gel was tested under tight ethical guidelines among 889 women in urban and rural South Africa, who were HIV-free at the start of the project.

Half of the women received the cream – the first microbicide to contain an antiretroviral drug commonly used to treat HIV-infected people – while the others used a placebo, a harmless but non-active lookalike.

Thirty-eight women in the gel group became infected with HIV, compared with 60 in the placebo group.

In statistical terms, the gel reduced the risk of HIV infection by 39 percent overall, but by 54 percent among women who adhered to the instructions most consistently.

There was no increase in side effects, nor – among women who became infected with HIV – any sign that they were more resistant to tenofovir as a result of the gel.

The implications for gay men, a group at risk for HIV, are as yet unknown.

The microbicide was not tested in anal intercourse, where statistical studies suggest the infection risk can be 10 times higher than for vaginal sex

So people who agreed to this research willingly put themselves at risk of contracting HIV? What happens now that they are infected? Anyone who knows please help!

What worried me about this was the comment from sciencemag.org saying that this was conducted in urban and rural Kwazulu Natal.

A double-blind, randomized controlled trial was conducted comparing tenofovir gel with placebo gel in sexually active, HIV-uninfected 18- to 40-year-old women in urban and rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. HIV serostatus, safety, sexual behavior, and gel and condom use were assessed at monthly follow-up visits for 30 months.

Wha is the process followed and why would anyone agree to this kind of thing??

P.S. Hope the anal sex people noticed that the risk is 10 times higher than vaginal sex! Mmmh. Condomize bahlali!

Read the rest of the good news HERE.


25 comments on “This HIV Gel Research? Hee Banna!

  1. soul sista
    July 21, 2010

    Condoms are still the best….

  2. GA
    July 21, 2010

    “The gel was tested under tight ethical guidelines among 889 women in urban and rural South Africa, who were HIV-free at the start of the project.”
    “Thirty-eight women in the gel group became infected with HIV, compared with 60 in the placebo group.”


    “So people who agreed to this research willingly put themselves at risk of contracting HIV? What happens now that they are infected? Anyone who knows please help!”

    eish, this research methodology has disturbed me more than the gel news/prospects.
    its a harsh truth that subsaharan africa has the highest aids rate….its sad, and it makes sense that such tests will be done here…but its all so hard to swallow….


  3. Q-tee
    July 21, 2010

    Unfortunately the only way HIV research will get credible results is when done on humans, not on other types of mammals like monkeys and rats. That is the reason why they haven’t been able to research HIV vaccine, because the vaccine is made out of a virus itself, and if the research fails it would mean those people get infected, and no one is willing to volunteer.
    I think let us salute those people who were willing to come forward and agreed to be subject cases for this kind of research, instead of making them feel like they made the worse decision of their lives.
    Remember during the apartheid, a lot of people had to face death head-on in order for us to gain the freedom that we have today?? well, its kinda similar.

  4. Makgotso
    July 21, 2010

    I wonder how much were they promised for them to put their lives in such risk,tjo

  5. kazisongo
    July 21, 2010

    I just hope that the risk was properly explained to the people that took part and no false promises were made

  6. Dladla
    July 21, 2010

    Q-tee you’re absolutely right. That is the sad part to this whole igciwane issue. For whatever cure these scientists come up with, it has to be tested to people.

    Enye into, you guys would be surprised just how many people (especially the poor) are willing to get infected with the virus JUST TO GET THE GRANT MONEY. I know a number of people from where I come from who got themselves infected. SOOOO, you might want to consider that as well. And yes, it’s possible, the government might have taken advantage of those people.

    On the note of gays (or those who like anal sex) I am with Soul Sista on this one, condom is simply the best. Even if they would find a cure for Aids it would take me forever to actualy use it or forsake condoms.

    Viva condoms viva!!!

  7. Lela
    July 21, 2010

    Lol @St Dladla,hayi i have nothing to be xcited abt ka gel that reduces chances by 30somethng percent,hawu!

    • mama ka Gundi
      July 21, 2010

      only 30% tjo hai basadla…eish AIDS *just leaves me speechless* bcoz kuyafiwa & ppl careless sum just treat like flu sum its their lotto ticket sum think they immune 2it..

    • soul sista
      July 21, 2010

      I’m with you here Lela
      Lolling @the St Dladla name/idea/….lol

      Maybe its about time that the scientists turn themselves into “experimental variables” in these studies… in that way they will find the right solutions… *dreaming*

  8. JCUser
    July 21, 2010

    This sounds dodgy in a sense that the women who turned out to be positive were expossed its a fact, chance are the negative woman might have not been exposed to the HI Virus…

  9. Thila
    July 21, 2010

    I dont get why it was conducted in that particular place, actually i dont approve of them conducting it in any rural area coz we all know that those people dont understand things as much people in the urban areas do.

    I feel that they were therefore misguided as i dont think any person in their right minds will put their lives at risk like that.

    The part about where the infetion was reduced by 39% suggests that, maybe, just maybe the infected percentage consisted of the people in the rural area.

    Just my concerns, that’s all.

  10. Buhlebonga
    July 21, 2010

    I’m still whoozy about this. I mean 39% only??? You know some naive kids gonna think that the cure has been found and will now give it up freely for all and sundry…. tjo.
    I hope that people will realise that they still need to practise safe sex or even abstaining or getting a toy. It is BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY…

    • BMS
      July 21, 2010

      kanti ungcole kanje wena

  11. pinana
    July 21, 2010

    O safa, saphel’ isizw’ esimnyama
    O safa isizwe sabantsundu
    Anitshelen’ inkokheli zethu zisilamulele kuloludaba”

  12. Silvio
    July 21, 2010

    the cure is coming. 🙂

  13. Lehakoe
    July 21, 2010

    condomise mense.
    i think that this was explained to the people and i just hope that govt or whoever conducting this research will provide those who got infected with ARVs.

    39% is a very low number, considering that all these women weren’t exposed to the same degree of infection. There was no uniformity so it’s very likely that if every1 was delibarately made to sleep with an HIV person the number would come back even lower than 39%.

    so far the closest thing to a cure is PEP(post exposure prophylaxis) that is taken within 72hrs of being in contact with an Hiv person.

  14. Lela
    July 21, 2010

    What i dont understand is why people are rejoicing as if kutholwe ichiza.

  15. JCUser
    July 21, 2010

    The reasecher said they still have 3-4 years before can be satisfied n start rolling out

  16. NthabiVDK
    July 21, 2010

    Hey am no expert but i doubt any sane person would agree to sleep with an HIV+ person knowingly they may get infected. Sm procedure must have been followed, medically and the report maybe inacurate in saying real ppl got infected. Maybe their blood got infected in the laboratory not their bodies. It just sounds insane even thinking about it..we r not rats morse? my opinion#

  17. Mna
    July 22, 2010

    Bebecinga nt0n ke nyan??

  18. Zeal
    July 22, 2010

    tjo guys!! condomising is the way to go,i meanif you refuse to abstain!!
    the things i see in the hospital, tjo, its soo sad, what a shame!!
    i promise you, you dont ever wanna be bed ridden because of AIDS!!
    maybe we are on the verge of finding a cure, but in the meantime, SCRUITINIZE!!!

  19. Mna
    July 22, 2010


  20. kk
    July 23, 2010

    Guys,it is very unethical to let people sleep with HIV + knowingly. Nobody would agree to do that.The way this things are tested,they take a group of people,give them this gel,tell them to continue with their lives.After a period of time,they then check the two groups,they then come to a conclusion that those who used the gel,had unprotected sex and still did not get infected,the assumption is the GEL helped them.

    It is possible that those people did not sleep with HIV positive people.It is possible that it was their lucky days.But because of the GEL,the assumption is the gell helped them…

  21. NthabiVDK
    July 23, 2010

    These ar studies we talking about KK, they can neva base a study on assumptions pls…do u eva watch Crime n investigation network???????????get real pls

  22. shybear
    July 23, 2010

    I agree with those who say lets salute the brave souls who are willing to put their lives at risk for these researches.
    But I think the gov should get involved just to ensure that these researches and the risks that goes with them are properly explained to these people. Its sad that more people will be infected like these!

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