A new form of contraceptive (microbicides) is under development, one that looks like it might be able to strike a serious blow against the epidemic of STDs, HIV in particular.
It comes in the form of cream, gel, or capsule and has the power to save over 2.5 million lives over a period of three years, as estimated by the Rockefeller Foundation. [...]
With 14 different versions in the works and 5 already proven safe enough for scientists to begin testing, microbicides are expected to hit the market at some date in the next 3 years.
Perhaps the most significant benefit is the product’s ability to empower women. Rather than negotiating the use of a condom, women would be able to apply the cream with disregard to the sentiment of their partner.
Over at feministing, Jen asks one question that the article fails to address:
I wonder…the article referenced doesn’t touch on whether it would be usable for gay men. I’d presume that lube would be helpful for anal sex, and a lot of gay men I know would rather not use a condom if they didn’t have to (a lot of straight men too, for that matter), so this could potentially have a huge impact on the gay male community and the impact of AIDS on them. Is this only a vag-friendly cream, or could it be used elsewhere?
Hopefully when this medication gets closer to a possible release date, issues such as these will be addressed. Even if itâ€™s vaginal only, however, if proven safe to use, this medication could save a lot of lives. Of course, with the Christian Right all up in arms in the United States about the potentially life-saving HPV vaccines, because, you know, the women â€œmay see it as a license to engage in premarital sexâ€ (says Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council), I expect microbicides will also come under fire eventually. I just hope that, when the time comes, that neither medications will be denied simply because some religious nutbags think that premarital sex is a greater â€œriskâ€ than saving the lives of women and men.