New lube prevents pregnancy and disease?

Now this is some serious contraception. A new product that’s been in the works for a while now could be a revolutionary way for women to protect themselves. Dibs!
It’s called microbicides, and it comes in the form of a cream or gel that’s inserted into the vagina before intercourse. It protects against pregnancy and STIs, including HIV. It actually mimics women’s natural lubricant as well, so would be preferable to a condom for many.
There’s 14 different versions of microbicides in the works, and 5 of those have been deemed safe enough to begin testing. One of these versions are expected to hit the market within the next three years.
If proven safe and effective, this could possibly mean millions of lives saved, especially (and obviously) considering the AIDS pandemic.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

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4 Comments

  1. Posted July 29, 2005 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    That would be cool. I understand current spermicides tend to be irritants (an ex-girlfriend reports that this is her experience), and that this undermines their effectiveness (possibly making them counter-productive for preventing disease transmission). It’d be nice to have something better in this area.

  2. Jen
    Posted July 29, 2005 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Awesome idea, but…
    I wonder…the article referenced doesn’t touch on whether it would be usable for gay men. I’d presume that lube would be helpful for anal sex, and a lot of gay men I know would rather not use a condom if they didn’t have to (a lot of straight men too, for that matter), so this could potentially have a huge impact on the gay male community and the impact of AIDS on them. Is this only a vag-friendly cream, or could it be used elsewhere?

  3. mamamie
    Posted August 1, 2005 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Jen,
    Yes, microbicides would be usable for gay men as well. I work for a nonprofit women’s health center that sits on the Northwest Microbicides Coalition. We have been working to promote information about microbicides, enourage research by lobbying legislators to pass bills funding microbicides research – in particular the Microbicides Development Act of 2005 – PLEASE call your representatives and tell them to support MDA 2005!!!!.
    Microbicides have the power to be revolutionary. Not only would they have the potential to prevent both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (including HIV) but, for women in particular, they would be the only female controlled method of preventing the transmission of STDs. This is obviously very important for women around the world but especially in particular African countries where it is typical for wives to have no say in what, if any, protection is used to prevent pregnancy or the spread of disease. PATH (Programs for Appropriate Technologies in Health) is at the forefront of microbicides research. They have done studies that show that husbands in these particular African countries will where condoms with a girlfriend or prostitute but not with their wives.
    To get back to the original point, there are quite a few organizations dedicated to gay men’s health that are incredibly invested in this issue precisely because it would be usable as an anal topical cream or gel as well as a vaginal topical. For more info you can visit the Global Campaign for Microbicides web site (www.global-campaign.org). Thanks for reading this far…..and encourage your legislators to support the MDA 2005 which would fund more microbicides research!

  4. Posted August 1, 2005 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Wow! That sounds awfully cool. The one question that comes to my mind is wondering how thoroughly it has to be applied. Would you have to make sure that you cover every last inch of vaginal mucosa, or could you just generally smear it around?
    And, of course, the question that shouldn’t have to be a question: What would it cost?

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