Sexual Health news - HIV

Clinical trial on duel action contraceptive and HIV-preventing device to begin soon


In January, researchers at the University of Zimbabwe and the University of California, San Francisco will begin clinical trials in January to determine the efficacy of a cervical barrier meant to prevent unwanted pregnancy and HIV transmission.

Authors of the study hope the device, called the CerCap, will add another option for protection for women who are at a high risk of becoming infected with HIV.

"To our knowledge, there are currently no dual purpose, women-controlled contraceptive products available that can provide both contraception and the reduction in the risk of contracting HIV infection except for condoms (male and female), and none offering protection from transmission of STDs, including HIV, via vaginally administered drugs," said Drew Hofmann, the manufacturer's executive VP.

The CerCap acts as a physical barrier for the cervix, and also releases drugs to prevent viral infection and pregnancy. Women involved in the study will use the device for 21 days. The researchers expect the trial to last about six months.

Authors of the study did not say whether the device would be marketed commercially in the U.S.