20 September 2010

Rwanda: New Gel to Protect Women From HIV/Aids

Kigali — Prof. Joseph Vyankandondera, the Principle Investigator on HIV incidence at Project Ubuzima, announced last Friday that Tenofovir, a new vaginal gel microbicide could be one of the key ways to curb the spread of virus among females.

Project Ubuzima, a local organization that carries out clinical research on microbicides, recently recruited women volunteers to facilitate their research on Tenofovir . The Gel was referred to as "a new advance in HIV prevention" during the International AIDS conference in Vienna recently.

Tenofovir, believed to 39 percent effective in reducing women's risk of being infected with HIV, during sexual intercourse, is set to be released next year.

"If this method is proved to be effective, we hope women can protect themselves from HIV/AIDS infection using Tenofovir," Prof. Vyankandondera said.

The gel can be applied, 12 hours before sexual intercourse. It then prevents the HIV virus from starting the process of replicating its genetic material, thus saving a woman from acquiring the virus.

The ground breaking proof from a concept study carried out by Centre for AIDS Program of Research in South Africa showed that Tenofovir can become an important component in reducing HIV infection, particularly in women.

Vyankandondera said that the gel was also found to bear no side effects.

The event organised by Project Ubuzima brought together stakeholders including the Ministry of Health, University teaching hospital of Kigali (CHUK), CNLS and the international partnership for microbicide, Amsterdam. It was also attended by Evelyne Kestelyn, the Scientific Manager at Project Ubuzima.

Copyright © 2010 The New Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.