Microbicides: a new approach to preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2002 Dec;1(12):977-85. doi: 10.1038/nrd959.


Many chemical agents can block human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the laboratory. Scientists are investigating which of these, used intravaginally by women, will safely prevent the sexual transmission of HIV in humans. Several such products - microbicides - will soon be tested in populations at high risk for HIV, and others are waiting in the wings. Microbicides will provide a low-cost method, controlled by women, for protection against HIV, other sexually transmitted pathogens and unwanted pregnancy, and will therefore have global public-health benefits.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female