Virginia School's Research on HIV Continues After Drug Setback

Richmond Times-Dispatch
January 10, 2009

Phase III clinical trial led by CONRAD/Eastern Virginia Medical School researchers began in 2005 to study the use of microbicides in preventing HIV infection. More than 1,300 women were enrolled in the study. The microbicide gel—cellulose sulfate—was not effective and showed high rates of HIV infection compared to the women using a placebo. Henry Gabelnick, executive director of CONRAD, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that researchers at Eastern Virginia Medical School had hoped they had found a way to prevent HIV infections, but the microbicide gel did not work. Gustavo Doncel, one of CONRAD's lead researchers, said, “Women were using the compound and were protected while using the compound. At the same time, they were attracting cells that were infectable cells. Stop using these compounds an they still have these cells...that are more receptive of HIV.”

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