Milwaukee, Jul 20: After the female condom that helps women thwart sexual assaults, another breakthrough has arrived in the form of a vaginal gel that has proved capable of keeping away the most dreaded sexually transmitted disease (STD) - AIDS.
The gel, which cuts a woman's chances of contracting HIV from an infected partner by half, is a breakthrough in the pursuit of a tool to help women whose partners refuse to use condoms.
The effects of the new vaginal gel was ascertained in a study in South Africa. The findings need to be confirmed in another study.
But, according to researchers, the level of protection the gel provides is probably not enough to win approval of the microbicide gel in countries like the United States.
However, the gel can be worked on and improved upon to achieve the approval so that it can hit the markets and reach women.
"We are giving hope to women," said Michel Sidibe, the executive director of the World Health Organization's UNAIDS program.
A gel could "help us break the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic," the executive director's statement read.