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New Tampon Could Stop the Spread of HIV in Women

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The Amazing Tampon that Does More for You Than Keep You Clean on Your Period

Reports are buzzing that a new tampon could be the wave of the future in preventing the spread of HIV in women.  The preventative device is a tampon; the most commonly used sanitary product on the market for women’s menstrual needs.  However, the tampon isn’t meant to be used for menstruation, but rather could be used at anytime.  The device is particularly crucial for women who may struggle to get their partners to wear a condom.  This is a serious problem for women living in countries in Africa, where in some places it is viewed as a man’s right to have sex with his wife at any time, regardless of whether he has engaged in unprotected sex with other partners and may expose her to HIV.

Tampon Dissolves and Provides Anti-Viral Drugs in Vagina

Researchers at the University of Washington who invented the HIV preventing tampon say that the tampon would essentially melt in the vagina once it is used.  Upon melting, it would deliver maraviroc, an anti-viral drug used to treat HIV infections.  Women could put it in place just minutes prior to having sex.  In addition to protecting against HIV, the tampons could also prevent other STDs and possibly pregnancy.  While it isn’t the first time that scientists have experimented with anti-viral gels or creams, these products have typically been messy and inconvenient to apply.  Some take at least 20 minutes to work prior to engaging in sex because of slow absorption.  So far, in clinical trials the tampons have been successful; sadly, it will be at least ten years before we see anything like this product available on store shelves.

More Women Contract HIV Than Men

Considering Centers for Disease Control statistics on HIV, women are twice as likely to contract HIV than men.  They also constitute the majority of HIV cases in the U.S., with an estimated quarter of the HIV population made up of women.  Overall, there are 1 in 4 women living in the U.S. with HIV.  It’s a sad reality that even in this country, where we pride ourselves on progressiveness compared to the rest of the world, there are many women in relationships with unfaithful or drug using men.  This new device could be an important first step in stemming the problem of HIV in women who may have no other recourse to protect themselves.