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ARV formulated microbicides big promise; as world waits vaccine

New generation of Microbicides that are formulated using anti-retroviral drugs have reviewed hopes of getting a tool that would prevent HIV infection before 2015. Since ARVs have shown to prolong lives of people infected with HIV; being positive that these could be turned into effective microbicides.

Optimistic about the second generation of microbicides unlike first generation; known biological responses between virus and drugs, anti-HIV specific in small molecules, developing different combinations microbicides specifically designed to be active against HIV as well as combination therapies holding promises of even greater protection against HIV transmission than earlier formulations, pharmaceutical industries should develop a wide range of formulations currently being taken by people living with HIV/Aids-(PLWHAS) Microbicides are self-administered tropical substances that can block transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, produced in various forms such as gel creams, sponges, lubricants and intravaginal rings applied inside the vagina or rectum. Those formulated using ARVs target the cells it infects. Some of these drugs stop HIV from binding a persons CD4 receptor of target cell a critical processes enabling virus replicate. Currently, a microbicide get formulated using tenofovirone of key 'ARVs used in HIV/Aids treatment.

Focus now is on dosage and form in which these microbicides will be delivered. Will it be once or twice a day, or come in form of gels, intravaginal rings or virginal tables? And can any form be applied by a woman during or after sexual intercourse. A lot of product acceptability studies are going on across sub-Sahara African countries, where over 75 per cent of microbicide studies are being conducted. Efforts to ensure the tools are acceptable to women do not irritate or offend their male partners are underway. Microbicides is one in the cocktail of tools including female condoms which are seen as the best way of empowering women to protecting themselves from HIV infection, especially when engaging in unprotected sex. Since utilization of the female condom remains low. Challenge facing most microbicides developers is how to make those that will turn out to be effective, accessible and affordable to women who need them most.

Community members provide valuable insight into cultural contexts where trails are going to take place; hence need to be consulted prior to commencing research.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ondari, R.O., Moraa, L. & Orang'o, Y.C. ARV formulated microbicides big promise; as world waits vaccine. Retrovirology 6 (Suppl 2), P65 (2009).

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