Thursday, March 5, 2009
'U of M' Scientists Discover How To Block HIV
A significant finding at the University of Minnesota research labs in Minneapolis.
On a small scale trial using monkeys, two doctors have found out how to block the transmission of HIV using, what in simplest terms, is a doctored up form of ky-jelly.
"It has the kind of efficacy that would avert millions of cases of HIV if it were used even part of the time by women," Dr. Ashley Haase, lead researcher of the project said.
In a pilot test with 5 monkeys the scientists found that a monkey, when using the gel containing a common food additive called GML, did not contract the AIDS virus from a carrier.
If the next step in research shows the same result happens in humans, the results could be astounding.
"This is a way for a woman to treat herself to prevent her from being infected by someone who has the virus," Pat Schlievert, a U of M microbiologist said.
When GML, or glycerol monolaureate, is emulsified into the lubricant it acts as a blocker to the virus.
GML is already approved by the FDA and is used in everything from make-up to ice cream.
The cost is miniscule at less than a penny per human size dosage.
But, cost isn't at issue right now, more research is.
"It has the potential to be the most significant work that I have done and it could impact millions of people," Schlievert said.
"We are very interested in the results and hopefully when combined with another approach it will be truly effective in humans but that is the next chapter in this story," Dr. Haase said.