Women must take control of HIV prevention to curb spread of infectionBMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7564.370-a (Published 17 August 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:370
- Jocalyn Clark
Until women take control of HIV prevention, it will be impossible to halt the global spread of HIV/AIDS, several speakers claimed at the 16th international AIDS conference in Toronto this week.
Of the 39 million people in the world currently living with HIV or AIDS, half are women. Of the 45 million new cases expected between 2002 and 2010, 70% are likely to be in women in the developing world, says UNAIDS.
Signalling an urgent need to prioritise methods of prevention that take control away from men, while acknowledging the remoteness of an effective HIV vaccine and the soaring costs of treatments, advocates urged greater investment in microbicide research.
Microbicide gels and creams can be applied before sex to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted viruses from attaching to vaginal walls. Relatively inexpensive and easy to manufacture and distribute, they are designed to be used by women without the cooperation, consent, or knowledge of their partners.
Women's health …