About AIDS

In an interesting development on the prevention front, an article in the latest issue of the journal Biologicals says that the smooth coating applied to aspirin tablets and other common medicines actually has antimicrobial effects itself. The compound, cellulose acetate phthalate kills HIV, herpes virus, chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomonas, and chancroid, both in the test tube and in the vagina. Yet, the authors state, it doesn't harm beneficial vaginal microbes. If further testing confirms this effect, the compound might be used by women in a topical application as a disease prevention measure for HIV and STDs. Of course, the research is still at a very early stage and may not pan out -- as is the case with discouraging frequency -- but if it does succeed in further trials, this commonly found substance may play an important element in AIDS and STD prevention.

-- Sandy Bartlett, Community Information/Education Coordinator AIDS Services of Austin

ASA Info Line: 458-AIDS E-mail: ASA@fc.net

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