Clinical microbicide research: an overview
At the end of 2003, 42 million people were HIV infected and the epidemic continues to spread, despite the availability and effectiveness of male condoms. For many women negotiating condom use is not feasible. Therefore there is an urgent need for a female controlled method for HIV prevention. This article gives an overview of the clinical research done with microbicides, chemicals with the potential to prevent an HIV infection. In the 1990s most research was done with spermicides, mainly nonoxynol-9. Since the results of the COL-1492 trial became available, new products were evaluated and some of them are now in phase III trials.