Chinese researchers eye anti-AIDS gel

A Chinese man flies a "red ribbon" kite by during an event to commemorate World AIDS Day, in Beijing in 2008. Chinese researchers said Monday they have discovered an HIV-blocking agent that could be developed into a gel to limit the sexual transmission of AIDS.

Chinese researchers said Monday they have discovered an HIV-blocking agent that could be developed into a gel to limit the sexual transmission of AIDS.

Scientists from Hong Kong University said joint research with Shanghai Targetdrug Co., Nanjing University and City University of Hong Kong had discovered a molecule that blocks HIV from entering .

Zhiwei Chen, director of the AIDS Institute of the University of Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, said the potency of the TD-0680 molecule against sexually transmitted HIV was "encouraging".

The new molecule could be developed into a microbicide gel to "prevent HIV " by killing off the virus as it tries to enter the body.

This would give people, especially women, an "alternative method to protect themselves from the virus, in addition to condoms", Chen said.

"The ideal solution is to develop an effective vaccine. Since such a vaccine remains elusive, we must explore other strategies such as topical microbicide," he said.

The TD-0680 molecule is several times more potent than Maraviroc, a Pfizer-developed equivalent which has been approved by the US for clinical treatment, the Chinese scientists said.

Unprotected sex accounts for more than 90 percent of AIDS infections in China, the researchers said in a statement.

Their work was published recently in the peer-reviewed .

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Model explains why HIV prevention dosing differs by sex

22 hours ago

A mathematical model developed by NIH grantees predicts that women must take the antiretroviral medication Truvada daily to prevent HIV infection via vaginal sex, whereas just two doses per week can protect men from HIV infection ...

Tourism as a driver of illicit drug use, HIV risk in the DR

Oct 29, 2014

The Caribbean has the second highest global human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence in the world outside of Sub-Saharan Africa, with HIV/AIDS as leading cause of death among people aged 20–59 years within the region. ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.