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Sunday 17 December 2006
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KENYA: Microbicide trials launched

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 16 May (PLUSNEWS) - Researchers have started trials of a vaginal gel that could help women protect themselves against HIV in situations where they cannot negotiate condom use.

Applied before sex, vaginal microbicides are substances that could potentially kill, neutralise or block HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

The Nation newspaper reported that the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), in collaboration with the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), had begun the tests in rural as well as urban areas in various parts of the country, selected for their differing HIV prevalence rates.

Health Minister Charity Ngilu welcomed the move, and was reported as saying that "at the moment, condoms are controlled by men, and that is why we welcome the trials".

Large-scale experiments using the same gel are also being conducted in South Africa, Rwanda and Tanzania.

The research team has predicted that it could take five to seven years before a product became available. IPM chief executive officer Zeda Rosenberg was quoted as saying: "This is not a magic tool in the prevention of HIV. That's why research on vaccines must continue."



Recent KENYA Reports
Urgent action needed to avert resistant TB - activists,  13/Dec/06
Government introduces combination therapy for PMTCT ,  4/Dec/06
Activists upset as UK introduces TB screening for visa applicants,  30/Nov/06
Rising drug, alcohol abuse threatens HIV/AIDS gains,  29/Nov/06
Muslim women in the north defy custom to fight AIDS,  9/Nov/06
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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