“An experimental drug in the form of a vaginal gel is being tested on female monkeys to prevent the HIV virus from gaining access to the body. The drug works by preventing the virus from penetrating a woman’s cells.
“In many parts of the world, the rise in HIV/AIDS is higher among women than men (60% in sub-Saharan Africa): one-half of adults with AIDS are now female whereas women comprised 41% of victims in 1997 [Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS].
“Researchers have tested the drug by giving monkeys a hormone to make them more vulnerable to HIV infections and then administering the experimental drug before exposing the monkeys to a high dose of the AIDS virus. The results were favorable, but it will be some time before the drug can be used on humans.”
“Editor’s Comment: They gave the ‘monkeys a hormone to make them more vulnerable to HIV.’ This was progesterone, the key ingredient in [many] birth control pills, Depo-Provera, Norplant and other hormonal contraceptives, which we hank out to women in Africa by the tens of millions of doses. And we wonder why they contract AIDS. Also, bear in mind that most of these anti-HIV drugs are also spermicides, so they prevent pregnancy. If this is not the primary purpose for developing them, it is still an important selling point to the anti-natalists.”
[AP, “Anti-HIV gel may protect women”, 14Oct04, www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6246226; Population Research Inst Review, Sept-Oct 2004]