“If [the] user trial is successful and we don’t hit other hurdles," Gorkin says, "we would be looking at potentially two to five years to iron out mass production, regulation and market clearance.”
Non-profit research organization CONRAD is fiercely developing a range of HIV prevention products for women using Tenofovir, a drug that’s already used in treatments.
So far, the most promising is a vaginal ring loaded with Tenofovir and birth control hormones for a double-whammy of protection against HIV and pregnancy. CONRAD’s spokesperson tells us it’s just completed a first round of testing with women, and could hit the market in eight to 10 years.
The organization is also in the early phases of a quick-dissolving Tenofovir vaginal pill, and a vaginal gel.
In 20 years, we could see the ultimate “girl power” gel that protects against almost everything. Polyphenylene carboxymethylene (PPCM for short) is still in preclinical trials, but it would prevent HIV, herpes, HPV, AND pregnancy while showing promise against chlamydia and gonorrhea eventually too. It’s a highly charged polymer that’s being developed to block viruses from attaching to host cells that should be available by 2022.