Infection Rates Rise In Test Group
A vaginal gel that was supposed to help prevent HIV infection might have just the opposite result.
So researchers are putting a stop to a pair of studies in Africa and India involving the microbicide.
The World Health Organization said it was an “unexpected setback” to its efforts to find a simple tool that women can use to lower their risk of getting the AIDS virus from sex.
More than half of all new infections with the virus in Africa involve women and girls.
The studies involved Ushercell, a gel containing cellulose sulfate. It’s a cotton-based compound developed by a Canadian company.
In one study involving 1,500 women in Africa and India, a monitoring board found more HIV infections among women using the gel than in those who were given a dummy medication.
The second study, involving women in Nigeria, was stopped as a precaution, even though no increased risk of infection was seen.