In this last issue of the SACEMA Quarterly in 2010 we present three main articles on a variety of issues: An update on the evidence for the efficacy of microbicides, including the cost-effectiveness of this intervention; The emerging issue of abuse and neglect experienced by AIDS orphans (and other vulnerable children) and their perceived social support; The enormous rise in the prevalence of drug abuse and the increase in the need for treatment. We also have short items providing information on the early work on tsetse by Glyn Vale; An update on the ‘treatment as prevention’ issue; And an item on the issue of the importance of concurrency in the high incidence rate of HIV in Africa. We hope you will all enjoy reading this issue. Next year we will continue publishing the SACEMA Quarterly magazine after giving it a slight makeover.
After two decades of setbacks with microbicide trials, recently two studies demonstrated a proof of concept for microbicides for the first time. With now a demonstrated proof of concept, understanding the potential cost-effectiveness of vaginal microbicides within the currently existing set of HIV prevention interventions becomes crucial. As there it not yet a safe and effective microbicide available, the challenge is to evaluate the potential of the microbicide technology for a hypothetical intervention. Results are reported of a recent study that looked at a potential 1-year intervention targeting a population of women in reproductive age in South Africa and estimated the incremental cost-effectiveness over a year of microbicides when distributed in conjunction with condoms.
In the August 10, 2009 issue of the Advanced Functional Materials journal, a paper was published describing the HIV-blocking properties of a gel that could prevent the transmission of HIV by physically stopping the virus in its tracks (1). Unlike existing microbicides (which were reported on in an earlier issue of the SACEMA Quarterly) (2), Read More
Dr. Alex Welte, visiting research fellow at SACEMA, attended the XVI Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in February this year in Canada and presents you the highlights. South and Southern Africa were well represented. James McIntyre and Glenda Gray held the address on the openings day on responding to the HIV Epidemic in Soweto. Read More
Recently the Lancet published the results of a randomized controlled trial which failed to show the effectiveness of the vaginal microbicide gel Carraguard to protect women from becoming HIV infected. This article extensively describes the study methods and results. Furthermore, it reports on ongoing trials on microbicides similair to Carraguard, and those on microbicides that contain antiretroviral drugs (new generation).