Anti-HIV Gel Fails to Pass Final Tests
Wednesday, February 27, 2008 3:20 PM

An anti-HIV vaginal gel, the first of its kind to reach the final-stages of testing, failed to stop HIV transmission in a study of 6,000 South African women. Researchers are currently investigating whether the failure of the gels was caused by infrequent use or misapplication, or if it is a failure of the microbicide itself.

From March 2004 to March 2007 scientists asked South African women to volunteer for the study. Over 9,000 women volunteered, but only 6,000 qualified. Each women participated between 9 months and two years, however, some 31% dropped out or could not be found for the final results. 

In the end, a rate of 3.3 infections per 100 women happened per year with the anti-HIV gel, making it comparable to the results to women who did not use the gel.

Compiled from: "Gel Fails to Stop HIV Infection," Marilynn Marchione, The Associated Press, 18 February 2008.