06 January 2005

Bio-medical control

Apart from sexual behavioural change and prevention many bio-medical methods are used.


Apart from sexual behavioural change and prevention, the following bio-medical methods are used (or are being researched) to prevent HIV infection:

A microbicide is a substance that kills microscopic organisms such as viruses. Microbicides, in the form of a vaginal cream, would be a major factor in controlling the spread of HIV.

Many women are simply not in a position to insist that their partners use condoms because they fear rejection or a violent reaction from their partners if they do.

What women ideally therefore need is a non-barrier method which they themselves can apply and control without their partner’s knowledge.

Microbicides are currently being tested on women, but it is not on the market yet.


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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria before working for an HIV/AIDS NPO in Soweto for many years. She was named one of the Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012.

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