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Microbicide trial: Women get special treatment

By Vision Reporter

Added 11th August 2007 03:00 AM

WOMEN who got infected while participating in the failed trials of a microbicide gel designed to prevent the transmission of HIV, will receive free treatment.

WOMEN who got infected while participating in the failed trials of a microbicide gel designed to prevent the transmission of HIV, will receive free treatment.

By Irene Nabusoba

WOMEN who got infected while participating in the failed trials of a microbicide gel designed to prevent the transmission of HIV, will receive free treatment.

Dr. Olive Sentumbwe, the national professional officer in charge of population and family planning at the World Health Organisation, announced this at the on-going fourth East African Sub-Regional African Women’s Leadership Institute conference.

She said the results should not discourage other people from participating in future trials. “Research always has mishaps. It happens elsewhere but it does not mean you stop. The victims of the halted gel research will receive special treatment. They are martyrs. We should regard them as heroes because they have sacrificed their lives for the good of others.”

Microbicides are substances that a woman can apply in her vagina before sexual intercourse to prevent HIV infection.

They may include gels or creams. The trial of a microbicide was halted in Uganda recently because 25 women became infected despite using it, indicating that this particular product had no value in preventing HIV transmission.
The same microbicide was tested in Benin, India, South Africa and Burkina Faso.

Sentumbwe said research should continue until scientists discover an effective microbicide. “We should adopt scientific research that can decrease HIV transmission in women. It is going to be difficult to empower women in fighting HIV/AIDS if we can’t find special approaches for them.” The annual event with the theme, ‘women’s right to health; contemplating sexual and reproductive health and rights’, was organised by Akina Mama

Microbicide trial: Women get special treatment

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