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CHICAGO -- New, anti-infective substances that can be developed as gels, creams, foams, films, even impregnated sponges and suppositories may prove to be a ground-breaking approach to preventing the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, according to an international authority and clinical pharmacologist at Advocate Bethany Hospital in Chicago.
The substances, called microbicides, are currently being developed for use in women prior to sex as a way of preventing the spread of such sexually transmitted diseases as gonorrhea and syphilis. However, Dr. Vincent Idemyor is currently working with other scientists in the area of microbicides to promote greater awareness and understanding of microbicides and their potentially revolutionary role in the control and prevention of HIV and AIDS. "Microbicides could become an additional defense against the spread of AIDS", said Idemyor in an article published in the August issue of the journal Pharmacotherapy.
While attending the World Conference on AIDS in Barcelona Spain this past July, the Voice of America recently interviewed Idemyor. In that interview, that was aired worldwide, he said that while the world waits for a vaccine, the development of a microbicide that kills HIV on contact would be of great benefit to Africa and the world. "While no claims that microbicides, when available, will be the answer to the HIV/AIDS problem in the world, they will nevertheless provide a new weapon for the war against the devastating pandemic from HIV/AIDS."
Idemyor, a clinical pharmacologist and the director of pharmaceutical services at Bethany Hospital, is considered an international authority on Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy treatment of AIDS and the use of microbicides and other antiinfective substances that play a crucial role in preventing the spread of AIDS and other highly infectious diseases.
His findings come at a time when AIDS is reaching epidemic proportions. According to statistics from the UNAIDS, approximately 40 million people in the world are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Adults comprise 37.2 million of that number while 17.6 million of those adults are women. Five million new cases of HIV, worldwide, were reported last year and 1.8 million of those people were women. Over half of those women indicated that unprotected sex was common for them. It is clear that this disease is reaching epidemic proportions rapidly, and newer more effective and efficient methods of prevention must be developed and made available.
Idemyor has been published in a variety of scientific and medical journals including HIV Clinical Trials, Annals of Pharmacotherapy and the Journal of the National Medical Association, on the topic of HIV/AIDS. In addition to his responsibilities at Bethany Hospital, Idemyor is also on faculty with the Department of Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago.
Advocate Bethany Hospital is 150-bed acute care community hospital that serves Chicago's West Loop and offers a wide array of outpatient, diagnostic and testing services. Bethany also provides inpatient care and psychiatric services for adults. Advocate Bethany Hospital is a part of Advocate Health Care, based in Oak Brook, Ill.