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On the Horizon: A New Way to Rein in Sexually Transmitted Disease

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Two years ago, the institute conducted a national survey of women aged 18-44 to gauge the level of interest in microbicides. The survey found 40% of women expressing at least some level of interest in using an antimicrobial. But that proportion jumped to more than 90% when women were asked whether they would be receptive if in a situation where a sexually transmitted disease would be a risk. Moreover, a huge majority -- 84% -- said they would likely not use even a highly effective product without a condom.

"We have good methods of contraception," Darroch says. But the status quo "leaves women who are unable to get their partner to use a condom or to [accept] a female condom without other options. So finding a vaginal microbicide for women to use on their own is something that is well needed around the world."

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