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Challenges in HIV Microbicides development


Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has gotten a lot of attention since its discovery. It's become one of the highest priorities of researchers because it was so difficult to treat, and there is still no cure against this virus. An HIV infection can lead to immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), which can often lead to death. Despite major advances in treatment and knowledge on transmission routes, more than 7,000 individuals are newly infected daily by HIV in the world, most of them by sexual contact.


This is why it's such a concern to the medical community. In recent days, many researchers have been looking into microbicides that could possibly stop the spread of HIV. But there are many challenges in HIV microbicides development that need to be considered.


A microbicide is a substance that kills microbes such as bacteria and viruses. It is usually applied topically, like antibacterial hand sanitizer, but would be applied to the vagina or rectum in order to prevent HIV from spreading through sexual intercourse. Researchers hope that it would act almost like a vaccine, either to kill HIV or render it non infective, stop the virus from entering human cells, enhance the body's normal defence mechanisms against the virus, and to prevent the virus from replicating. This could stop the spread of HIV. But, first, the challenges in HIV microbicides development must be addressed.


There are actually several substances that can act as microbicides. Regular household laundry bleach kills HIV, for example. But one of the biggest challenges in HIV microbicides development is finding a microbicide that effectively kills HIV, but does so without irritating the skin or mucosa on which it is topically applied. It's also important to find a microbicide that is easy and affordable to produce. It won't do anyone any good if this microbicide is too expensive for some countries to afford. And if this substance could potentially cause long-term damage to one's fertility, it's unlikely that people would risk using it.


There are currently over twenty clinical trials being held for different potential HIV microbicides. Some of them show some promise, while others may be discontinued due to a lack of results. There any many challenges in HIV microbicides development, but it's generally acknowledged to be a positive trend to see so many laboratories and researchers conducting trials of potential microbicides. Once a suitable substance is found, it'll take some time to perfect the formula and to manufacture it for distribution. But, hopefully, the world is getting a little closer to a solution every day.


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