Nigerian women optimistic about Tenofovir, the ARV drug in a gel
Nigerian women and their counterparts in other African countries have welcomed the promise that Tenofovir, an anti-retroviral drug contained in a microbicide gel, can help protect women who can't negotiate safe sex with their partners against HIV infection (and see WVoN stories here and here).
Optimism about the long-term effectiveness of the microbicide in Africa stems from a study carried out by the Family Health International (FHI) involving heterosexual women from Ghana, Cameroon, and Nigeria with multiple sex partners.
According to the study, "because the women were at high risk of being infected with HIV, they were also the most likely to benefit from tenofovir if it can be shown to safely and effectively prevent HIV."
Generally, researchers say antiretroviral drugs, when adapted for microbicides, could prevent, not just treat infection. It is widely acknowleged that ARVs are effective against HIV infection. Microbicides, on their own, prevent infection in the first place.
The expectation now is that the demonstrated safety and effectiveness profile of tenofovir for preventing HIV, should make HIV prevention programmes more affordable in resource-poor countries.
Read the full story in AllAfrica.com.