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New AIDS Treatment for Women Could be Ready by 2009

A top researcher in South Africa says a new HIV prevention treatment for women might be available as early as 2009.

Abdool Karim, who works at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, is conducting trials for a gel form of microbicides, which kill the HIV virus. He told an AIDS conference in Durban Thursday the gel can be used by women without their partners knowing about it.

Mr. Karim said initial results from the latest trials could be available in two or three years. If effective, he predicted it could be on the market by 2009.

The United Nations estimates that nearly 60 percent of those living with HIV or AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa are women. Experts say this proportion is growing in societies where women are not able to refuse sex or to negotiate the use of condoms.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters