According to a 1998 UNAIDS/WHO report, HIV infection among women is the fastest-growing segment of the AIDS pandemic, especially in developing countries. Unfortunately, the HIV-prevention strategies put forward by the public health community—monogamy, condom use, and treatment of sexually transmitted infections—are not feasible for many women. Women urgently need a means within their personal control to protect themselves against HIV. Recognizing this need, a number of international and nongovernmental organizations and government agencies have called for the development of microbicides, products that women could use vaginally to prevent infection with sexually transmitted infections, particularly HIV. The Population Council is one of the organizations working to develop a vaginal microbicide, and its lead compound has already undergone initial testing for safety and acceptability. An expanded safety and acceptability trial is now planned. To inform proposed research in South Africa, the Council consulted with government, research, activist, and community groups, and co-sponsored a consultative meeting with the Women’s Health Project. This report summarizes pertinent background information, highlights issues discussed during the consultation, and identifies recommendations made for proceeding with the research.
Fonn, Sharon and C. Elizabeth McGrory. 1999. "Informing Research on HIV Prevention: A Consultation." New York: Population Council and Women's Health Project, Johannesburg.