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A new microbicide gel shows promise in helping prevent HIV infection for those in engaging in anal and/or vaginal sex. 

DuoGel, developed by ImQuest BioSciences in conjunction with Duke University, Magee-Women’s Hospital, and the University of Pittsburgh is thought to be the first gel of it’s kind – offering during both anal and vaginal sex.

The gel, formulated with IQP-0528 compound was successful in preventing infection of vaginal (in vitro and ex vivo) and rectal tissue.  The microbicidal gel deactivates the virus by preventing the attachment, entry, or replication of the virus.

Microbicidal gels have been around for vaginal sex for a while now but their success in anal sex has been patchy due to the ease with which the rectal lining can be damaged by foreign substances. Damage to the thin rectal lining can dramatically increase the chance of infection by HIV and other opportune viruses or bacterial infections.

The research team plans to further enhance DuoGel, by integrating tenofovir, an anti-retroviral drug into the gel – making HIV infection even less likely, and hope to start phase-1 clinical trials in early 2015.

Anthony Ham Ph.D speaking on behalf of the team said: “It is recognized that both vaginal and rectal intercourse occur during the same sexual act, so a single product that is safe for both compartments makes sense in terms of convenience, which is likely to result in higher compliance.”“In addition, these DuoGels will be much safer products for HIV prevention in males practicing receptive anal intercourse.” 

 

 

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