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Community Health: Education, Prevention and Inspiration

Empowering people to make healthy, respectful and responsible choices.

Future technology to prevent HIV and pregnancy

Posted by Tammi A. Tannura -

Preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies are the main reasons sexually active people choose to use condoms (male or female), or condoms and another form of birth control (e.g. birth control pill, the Nuva Ring, Ortho-Evra, an IUS/IUD, etc.). But what if a female could insert one small, fast-acting mesh-like film that could prevent STIs and unintended pregnancy at the same time?

Multipurpose prevention technologies, otherwise known as MPTs, simultaneously prevent STIs and unintended pregnancy. Research is underway at the University of Washington to develop such a "two-for-one" technology. Researchers have developed an MPT composed of fiber meshes and drug compounds designed to simultaneously release multiple agents against HIV-1 and sperm. The MPT functions as a combination chemical and physical barrier in the female reproductive tract.

Researchers were able to observe that the drug-loaded meshes prevented sperm penetration, and inhibited HIV-1 infection outside the body. In addition, the researchers found that another compound called GML has the ability to hinder sperm motility and viability. Prevention of HSV-2 (genital herpes) also showed promise.

As no single product currently exists that allows a woman to discreetly protect herself from HIV and pregnancy, MPTs are beneficial to women in particular. This non-hormonal, non-toxic option is reversible and does not alter the vaginal flora.

Consider the impact of MPTs if utilized in Africa, where the majority of the 34 million people with HIV live. The availability of such a technology could certainly have a positive global health impact.

For the detailed research on this promising new technology, check out:

Source: Ball C, Krogstad E, Chaowanachan T, Woodrow KA (2012) Drug-Eluting Fibers for HIV-1 Inhibition and Contraception. PLoS ONE 7(11): e49792. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049792

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its really helpful for the readers and very useful technology. i like your post its very informative and very awesome. keep providing such kind of good post. very goods article
by muhammad lal on Wednesday 7/24/2013