HIV/AIDS continues to expand throughout the world, and in recent times has had a severe impact on the number of women living with HIV. Access to methods of prevention for HIV/AIDS around the world is limited and for many women may not be feasible. Examples of such methods are sexual abstinence, which though recognized as an effective method of prevention is difficult for many women to achieve. Mutual fidelity is another option, but many women cannot control the sexual behavior of their partners. Finally, the male condom continues to be an available method of HIV prevention for sexually active people. However, in many places, gender inequality, social norms, and economic disparities severely limit women's capacity to negotiate the use of a condom with their partner. For this reason, an urgent need exists to develop a product for the prevention of HIV/AIDS that can be handled by women. Microbicides, products that can reduce HIV risk when applied intravaginally, hold promise for stopping the advance of HIV/AIDS, especially when considering that women can make their own decisions about whether to use them when other methods of prevention are not available. The objective of the current literature review was to understand the scientific advances related to microbicides in the prevention of HIV/AIDS in women through the analysis of available literature in this area. Interest in this topic emerged from the need to contribute to women's health and HIV/ AIDS prevention. To achieve this review's objective, a search was carried out in multiple databases, including OVID, PUBMED, PROQUEST, and CINAHL, as well as published materials from organizations related to this area such as UNAIDS and CONASIDA, and literature available from the Internet. Upon completion of the literature review, it was concluded that microbicides are an effective method for preventing HIV/AIDS for women as well as their partners. Although they have a high level of acceptance among the female population, the majority of microbicides are still in clinical studies, requiring further evaluation for their safe use in humans. There are 3 microbicides in the final phases of clinical studies that will soon be available on the market. One of these was found to be 60% effective in protecting against the transmission of HIV and was used by women in 50% of their sexual activity, which resulted in avoiding approximately 2.5 million new HIV infections in men, women, and children over a 3-year period.
- HIV prevention
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