Two studies of an anti-HIV vaginal gel were stopped this week because findings suggest that the gel may actually increase the risk of infection, the Associated Press reported.
A statement from the World Health Organization said the results of the studies in Africa and India are "a disappointing and unexpected setback" in efforts to find a simple way for women to reduce their risk of being infected by HIV, the virus that causes Aids.
In the two studies, researchers were testing a gel called Ushercell, which contains a cotton-based compound called cellulose sulphate. A study of 1 500 women in South Africa, Benin, Uganda and India was halted after it was noted that the rate of HIV infection was higher among women using the gel than among those using a placebo, the AP reported.
That prompted researchers to stop a second study of 1 700 women in Nigeria. The decision was made as a precaution. No link between the gel and increased risk of HIV infection had been noted in the second study. – (HealthDayNews)
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