Researchers at the NIH recently discovered that a gel that has been tested to protect women from HIV (successfully) is even more successful in protecting against genital herpes. The gel, called tenofovir, reduced HIV infection by 39% and herpes infection by 51%. When it enters tissue of the vaginal wall, tenofovir converts into a form that blocks an enzyme which is necessary for herpes replication. Tenofovir effectively prevents HIV when taken as a pill as well but not against herpes because the drug must enter the vaginal tissue to stop the viral replication.
The makers of Tenofovir are now debating whether or not it is worth it to spend the millions of dollars that is necessary to get the gel approved for selling in America. How popular would a gel that protects against HIV and herpes be in the States? I wonder if people would go through with the hassle of buying it or not?