| || Prevention of AIDS and sexually transmitted infections
Author : Talwar, G.P.
Source : Defence Science Journal ; Vol:51(4) ; 2001 ; pp 409-414
Subject : 57.089 Biomedical Sciences ;57 Biological Sciences
Keywords : AIDS;Sexually transmitted infections;Polyherbal formulations;Reproductive tract infections;Spermicides;Microbicides
Abstract : Abnormal vaginal discharge due to reproductive tract infections (RTIs) is widely prevalent in the country. According to WHO, over 300 million new cases of sexually-transmitted infections (excluding HIV) occur each year. In addition to these, HIV infection is spreading rapidly in the country with over 3.7 million sero-positive cases (from zero) within 15 years.. The predominant mode of transmission of HIV is by heterosexual route. The multidrug regime for treatment is expensive (about $10,000 per year) which is beyond the reach of most of the people. No viable vaccine preventing AIDS infection is in sight. Under these circumstances, safe sex is the best recourse, which demands consistent and proper use of condoms. This does not take place to the extent necessary for preventing the transmission of HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections. A polyherbal tablet for intravaginal use by women has been developed and a polyherbal cream, for use by both men and women, which has a wide spectrum antimicrobial action. Amongst others, these inhibit the growth of Neisseria gonorrhea (including strains resistant to penicillin). normal and multidrug-resistant isolates of urinary tract E. coli, Candida albicans. Candida krusei and Candida tropicalis. Applied intravaginally, these prevent the transmission of Herpes simplex 2 and Chlamydia Irachomatis in progestin-sensitised mice. Studies conducted at the Institut Pasteur. Paris and Conrad Norfolk, USA, have demonstrated high virucidal action of these formulations against HIV . Both formulations have undergone phase I clinical trials in five major centres in India and abroad, which have indicated the complete safety of these products without any local or systemic side effects. The Drug Controller of India and the Institutional Ethics Committees have approved phase II clinical trials. The first of these trials was conducted in 88 women with abnormal vaginal discharge due to genital pathogens at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research. Chandigarh. Every woman. who used the praneem polyherbals, once every night for seven days, experienced relief clinically. irrespective of the nature of the causative pathogen.