Women could soon have a new way to protect themselves from HIV, even after having sex with an infected partner.
Scientists are a step closer to developing a gel that would stop the virus from infecting cells. Tests on monkeys show the gel works three hours after sex, once the virus is already in the body. (Via WZTV)
In the study, all the monkeys were infected by an animal-human laboratory strain of HIV. When the gel was applied five out of six monkeys were protected.
The findings were published in Science Translational Medicine. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia led the test. They say the results are "proof for concept" in animal model.
According to the CDC, more than 1.1 million people are living with the HIV, and one in four people with the infection are women.
One doctor told the BBC, the findings in this test might be effective in preventing HIV transmission in humans. But caution is still needed since one monkey was infected.
NBC reports in 2010, researchers studied a cream containing a different HIV drug. That reduced a woman's risk of infection by 50 percent after a year of use.
Most experts agree, human trials must be done before a product like this could be put on the market.