Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that can result in rare opportunistic infections occurring in humans. The onset of these infections is known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Sexual transmission is responsible for the majority of infections 1, resulting in transmission of HIV due to infected semen or vaginal and cervical secretions containing infected lymphocytes. HIV microbicides are formulations of chemical or biological agents that can be applied to the vagina or rectum with the intention of reducing the acquisition of HIV. Tenofovir is an NRTI that is phosphorylated by adenylate kinase to tenofovir diphosphate, which in turn competes with deoxyadeosine 5’-triphosphate for incorporation into newly synthesized HIV DNA. Once incorporated, tenofovir diphosphate results in chain termination, thus inhibiting viral replication. Tenofovir has been formulated into a range of vaginal formulations, such as rings, tablets gels and films. It has been shown to safe and effective in numerous animal models, while demonstrating safety and acceptability in numerous human trials. The most encouraging results came from the CAPRISA 004 clinical trial which demonstrated that a 1% Tenofovir vaginal gel reduced HIV infection by approximately 39%.
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