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Vaginal gel shows promise against HIV

NEW YORK — In another promising development in AIDS prevention, scientists have shown that monkeys can be protected against infection with a vaginal gel even when it is used as long as three hours after sex.

If it works in humans, such a gel would be useful in countries where women have little protection against domestic violence or rape, because they could apply it after a partner fell asleep, or a clinic could administer it after a rape.

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But if the technique does move into human trials, scientists said, it is more likely that women would be asked to try to use it both before and after sex.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, did not show 100 percent protection. One of six macaques became infected.

The gel contains raltegravir, an antiretroviral drug already approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of HIV.

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