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New Medicinal Gel May Prevent HIV and STDs

Part of the exciting world of going to a pharmacy assistant college is learning about all of the available medications and prescriptions that are being manufactured. Pharmaceuticals are part of an ever changing health industry and new findings are published on a consistent basis.

One of these new advancements was published on Kansan.com in which reporter Claire Mcinerny writes about a new gel that is being formulated to help protect a woman’s vagina against STDs and HIV. “Sarah Kieweg, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received a $1.3 million grant from the National Institute of Health to continue developing a preventative gel for the virus,” explains Mcinerny.

“’This microbicidal gel needs to protect all the vaginal surfaces. It needs to be spreading where it needs to go and keeping the drug where it needs to be, so the basics of the research involve examining the fluid mechanics of how that gel will spread around’ Kieweg said in an Oct. 7 news release.”

Mcinerny further comments that, “The team of researchers, which also includes Carl Weiner, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at KU Medical Center and Kyle Camarda, associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, are developing an instrument that predicts how the gel moves, to make sure the gel is as effective as possible against HIV and other STDs… The goal for the team’s instrument is to perfect the gel’s physical and chemical barrier for women against HIV and other STDs. If completed, the instrument will help create other drugs for women’s sexual health.”

I can’t help but think of the impact that this could have on the many nations who struggle with the immense fatalities of the HIV and AIDS virus. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “At the end of 2008, an estimated 1,178,350 persons aged 13 and older were living with HIV infection in the United States. Of those, 20% had undiagnosed HIV infections… CDC estimates that approximately 50,000 people are newly infected with HIV each year in the United States. In 2009 (the most recent year that data are available), there were an estimated 48,100 new HIV infections. Most (61%) of these new infections occurred in gay and bisexual men. Black/African American men and women were also strongly affected and were estimated to have an HIV incidence rate than was 7 times as high as the incidence rate among whites.”

Getting pharmacy technician training is an amazing way to impact the lives of many people. Once drugs and medications are available to those who greatly need them, countless lives can be changed.

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