reports that Astroglide Personal Lubricant has been found to block the replication of the
human immunodeficiency virus in lab tests. The lubricants killed HIV-infected white blood
cells and HIV in seminal fluid, according to researchers from the University of Texas
Medical Branch in Galveston.
Baron and colleagues conducted the study to examine over-the-counter vaginal preparations
for their ability to inhibit HIV production.
While the spermicide nonoxynol-9 has been found in lab
tests to fight HIV, it doesn't prevent the virus from spreading, probably because it
causes genital irritation, the authors note in the July 20th issue of AIDS Research and
Human Retroviruses. For this reason, the researchers only looked at non-irritating
Astroglide lubes inhibited
HIV production by more than 1,000-fold when mixed in test tubes with cells contained in
semen. When the preparation was mixed with cell-free semen containing the virus, it cut
HIV replication eightfold.
Inactivation of the virus began within 5 minutes after the
preparation was added, and the lubricant remained active for more than 8 hours at human
body temperature. When layered over cells, the lubricant was still able to kill,
indicating that their protective activity can diffuse into seminal fluid. The lubricant
was still active when diluted in a one-to-four ratio.
Since submission of their report, the investigators have
identified two components that are responsible for the inhibitory effects, Baron told
Reuters Health. These components appear to interact with the lipid or fatty membrane that
surrounds both the virus and the infected cells, he said.
"These materials we have identified are by the most
stringent standards safe, falling in the Food and Drug Administration's No. 1 safety
category,'' Baron noted. ``This separates them out completely from nonoxynol-9.''
He cautions that condoms remain the recommended method for
preventing HIV transmission during sexual activity. However, Baron and his colleagues
highly recommend that field trials of these agents be conducted among people at risk.
SOURCE: Reuters Health & AIDS Research and Human