Chancellor , Professor

Vaginal gel blocks HIV but not enough to be scientific success

Candidate microbicide PRO 2000 cuts HIV transmission by 30 percent, falling just short of the one-third required to be deemed a success. But scientists say this trial offers proof that the concept of a vaginal gel to block HIV is possible. For the first time in over a decade of research, a vaginal gel called PRO 2000 has been show to cut HIV transmission by 30 percent. Principal investigator Professor Gita Ramjee described this as extremely hopeful at the simultaneous launch of the results in Durban and Montreal, Canada, yesterday (9 Feb). This is the first microbicide study in over a decade that shows promise. It suggests that we are on the right track and we will be able to develop a women-controlled product to prevent HIV in the future, said Ramjee, who heads HIV research at the Medical Research Council (MRC).