Women may soon have one more weapon at their disposal in the fight against HIV that could (ideally) be available over the counter!
Researchers at the University of Washington are hoping to develop a dissolvable tampon containing maraviroc, an HIV-preventing drug. The tampon would deliver high doses of the medication minutes after coming in contact with moisture.
“We envision a product that could dissolve–pretty much instantaneously–into a gel and then spread around the vagina during sex,” said Cameron Ball, a bioengineering doctoral student at the university told The Huffington Post.
This would be a last-minute prophylactic will act quickly in order to prevent people having unsafe sex due to impatience. “We want something that dissolves quickly,” Cameron explained, “so that people can say, ‘Hey, I wasn’t planning on it, but I’m going to have sex in five minutes so I need to use this product, and I want it to be completely dissolved before that.’”
According to HuffPo, Cameron’s team is still in the research phase for the tampons, which would be made of electrically spun fibers infused maraviroc. The medication is currently used to treat people who already have HIV, but it could also keep healthy people from contracting the virus.