The Setshaba Research Centre is one of three sites in South Africa where a microbicide gel named Carraguard is being tested in phase 3 clinical trials, the last phase of drug testing on humans before approval for marketing.
More than 5,000 women are trying out the vaginal gel to determine if it really protects against HIV; most of them are from poor, neighboring areas.
“Studies done in the laboratory show that this agent might help in preventing HIV transmission,” Dr. Khatija Ahmed, principal investigator at the research center, told Women’s eNews. “It lines the vaginal mucosa so that the HIV virus cannot penetrate the mucosa and get into the human cell.”
If you want to learn more about microbicides, your best bet is to visit the