What are microbicides?
- Microbicides are products to help protect people against HIV.
- Microbicides are being developed and tested for use in the vagina and rectum to prevent or reduce the risk of sexual transmission of HIV.
- The main goal of microbicides is to protect against HIV, but they may also protect against other sexually transmitted diseases.
- Microbicides are under development in many forms, but are mainly being tested as gels and vaginal rings.
How do microbicides work?
- Microbicides may prevent the transmission of HIV by blocking the attachment of HIV to cells or by preventing the infection from spreading.
- Microbicides may help protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, but they are not a cure for HIV.
How do we need microbicides?
- HIV is an epidemic in many populations and places around the world, and people need options to protect themselves
- Condoms are an effective HIV prevention method, but many people can’t or don’t use them every time they have sex.
- Microbicides represent an HIV prevention strategy that doesn’t have to be controlled by one’s sexual partner.
When will a vaginal or rectal microbicide be available to the public?
- All drugs go through a lengthy development and testing process over many years before a product is determined safe and effective for people to use.
- Scientists are currently testing various types of microbicides, but none has yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use outside of clinical studies.
- The safety and effectiveness of microbicides must be established separately for vaginal and rectal use before any product can be approved for widespread use.
- Once proven effective and approved, microbicides will be an essential tool to help control the spread of HIV/AIDS.