About AIDS

New Microbicide Creams Would Find Eager Market

Last week we noted a new condom design that has expanded the options available for disease prevention and contraception, an example of market response to consumers' needs. Another market response is the hot field of microbicides, i.e., creams or gels which would fight or prevent HIV/STD infection and pregnancy. Lots of pharmaceutical companies are actively exploring such products, which consumers say they would be glad to have available. Some may be introduced this year.

In March at the Microbicides 2000 Conference (you know a topic has "arrived" when it has its own conference), research from UC-Berkeley reported that college students readily would purchase such a product. Women would prefer an invisible product, but the men wanted a flavored product so they could tell it was being used.

Columbia researchers also reported that gay men overwhelmingly would use a vaginal microbicide for anal intercourse if it were available, especially if it were contained in a lube.

Since these are populations among whom condoms are either not routinely used or only used sometimes, but whose age group experiences the most HIV infections, adding to the range of available options will significantly contribute to risk reduction effectiveness.AIDS Services of Austin

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