HIV Breakthrough: Tampon With An Anti-HIV Drug For Women

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By Afza Fathima | August 19, 2014 3:45 PM EST

Researchers from the University of Washington came up with a new product, which is similar to that of a tampon and contains an anti-HIV drugs to help protect against HIV. 

Maraviroc, a powerful microbicide, is used as an active ingredient to the new product. Microfibers were used to release a dissolvable gel before sexual intercourse that will help fight against HIV infection. A process called electrospinning is being adopted by the developers to enable good delivery for the drug to work effectively. The nanotechnology gave a heads up by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Reuters
Lambert Grijns, Dutch Ambassador for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and HIV/AIDS, speaks to delegates at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne July 20, 2014.

Reports said that the products might take five years for it to appear in the market.

Cameron Ball, a bioengineer associated with the product, said that the product works in such a manner so that the anti-HIV drug reaches the tissue before the infection does and it dissolves quickly, preventing infections from spreading. 

The researchers wrote that in the United States of America, women consume orals to protect themselves against HIV and that the gels and other products available for women might take too long to work and that it is not as efficient as the new product that is being developed. They added that usually other drugs take a minimum of fifteen minutes to act on the body and this tampon-like applicator will certainly be a breakthrough in HIV research. 

Currently, the gels are facing a major problem that the volume of the gels are large but is also big because of which leakage takes a place. A product that has a large volume of gel as well as it is small enough to prevent leakage from happening is what the markets are requiring.

The tampon can also take the form of a ring and the scientists are taking their first steps by dissolving polymer that was combined with maraviroc to produce a substance that gets charged and then passes through a syringe. This produces a long stringy formation which leaves pieces of microfibers that can be infused with the medicine.

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(Photo: Reuters / Stringer)
Lambert Grijns, Dutch Ambassador for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and HIV/AIDS, speaks to delegates at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne July 20, 2014.
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