Breakthrough: HIV Virus-Killing Condom Developed By Australian Researchers

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Students receive free condoms at an event organised by the United Nations
Students receive free condoms at an event organised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on World Population Day in Manila July 11, 2014. Reuters

To kill the HIV virus, a new condom has been designed by Australian researchers which could be made available for sale within a few months. Tests on the VivaGel condom has shown that it is effective in deactivating 99.9 per cent of virus cases in HIV, herpes and human papilloma. 

A receipt of Conformity of Assessment Ceritfication has been received by the product from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration. The first of its kind, the condom, should be available for mass production in the coming months.

Lubricated by VivaGel, the condoms contain a non-antibiotic and antimicrobiral drug, astrodrimer sodium, which acts specifically against HIV. The gel, it is hoped, will reduce transmission of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and also reduce risk of getting pregnant.

But researchers have warned that there has never been any condom which has been completely effective in preventing pregnancy or spread of STIs. They have said that the VivaGel condoms, to a large extent, will help reduce the chance of an infection by reducing the number of virus particles that a person is exposed to.

Starphama, an Australian bio-tech firm, and Ansell, a firm responsible for a huge portion of the condom market in Australia, are producing the VivaGel condom. 

Australia, in the recent years, has seen the rise of sexually transmitted infections. Genital herpes is said to be affecting one in every eight Australians above the age of 25. Many of them are unaware that such an infection has affected them and hence, pass it on to others.

Another shocking statistic is the rise of HIV infections being diagnosed which has increased by a massive 10 per cent in the period between the end of 2012 to the end of 2013. From 1999 to 2013, a huge 70 per cent increase has been noticed in the cases of HIV.

Peter Carroll, President of Ansell, has said that the product should be expected by the consumers soon. He hoped to start the product's marketing and sales campaign in the coming months.

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