Molecular Condom Prevents AIDS

Molecular condom prevents AIDS

Molecular condom prevents AIDS

The University of Utah scientists have developed a new kind of condom, a “molecular condom”, to protect women from AIDS in Africa and other third world countries. Before having sex, women have to insert a vaginal gel that turns hard when semen is detected, trapping the potential AIDS virus so that it doesn’t infect them.

Associate professor of bioengineering, Patrick Kiser, reveals that, “We have created the first vaginal gel designed to prevent movement of the AIDS virus. This is unique. There’s nothing like it. We did it to develop technologies that can enable women to protect themselves against HIV without approval of their partner,” he adds.

“This is important – particularly in resource-poor areas of the world like sub-Sahara Africa and south Asia where, in some age groups, as many as 60% of women already are infected with HIV. In these places, women often are not empowered to force their partners to wear a condom.”

After many failed attempts at developing a product that could help women prevent infection, Patrick Kiser and his colleagues published a study in 2006 on their development of a molecular condom that is applied to the vagina as a liquid. It turns into a gel at body temperature and then binds to semen and becomes semisolid.

If all goes well, Patrick Kiser estimates that human testing of the gel will begin in 3 to 5 years and the gel will reach global markets several years after that.