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Post-sex gel shows signs of promise against HIV

Published on Mar 13, 2014 8:18 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A first-of-its-kind vaginal gel that is designed to be applied after sex has shown promise in preventing the virus that causes Aids in research monkeys, United States (US) scientists said on Wednesday.

While testing is still at a very early stage, researchers hope the gel could be a more practical and effective option than current anti-retroviral gels on the market which must be applied before sex.

The gel was developed by scientists at the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and contains a Merck-made drug called raltegravir which decreases the amount of HIV in the blood.

"What we did in this work was we identified an anti-HIV drug that blocks virus integration in the DNA," study co-author Walid Heneine told Agence France-Presse. "This is a prerequisite step for HIV infection, and that step takes at least six hours after infection so that provides a wide window for dosing after sex."

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