An antiviral gel may prevent genital herpes in women

Medical Xpress | March 01, 2019

In a paper recently published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, researchers examined the effect of vaginal tenofovir 1 percent gel use on the risk of acquiring herpes simplex virus type 2, or HSV-2. The study was conducted through a secondary analysis of data from the VOICE study, the primary results of which were published in 2015. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in six Americans ages 14 to 49 are infected with genital herpes. HSV-2 infection is the most common cause of genital herpes and also enhances the risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV. No vaccine currently exists for HSV-2. "Women are especially susceptible to infection because it is more easily transmitted from an infected man to his female sex partner than vice versa," said corresponding author Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "A product that protects against HSV-2 could have an important public health impact." Of the 566 HSV-2-negative participants, Marrazzo and her colleagues found that overall use of vaginal tenofovir 1 percent gel was associated with a 40 percent reduction of HSV-2 acquisition. Over the follow-up period, 92 new cases of HSV-2 occurred, with 77 in women with no plasma tenofovir detected and 15 with plasma tenofovir. Tenofovir measured in plasma was used as a measure of gel use.

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Drug development – it’s an area rife with risk, but with great risk often comes great rewards. An area notoriously prone to failure is oncology, and nowhere is accurate risk assessment more critical. Developing Cancer Treatments is HARD! But is everyone bad at it? is a view into this failure-prone area from Pharmapremia.

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