LONDON, Mar 28 - Thousands of women are taking part in three-year trials in South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda and Cameroon on two gels to combat the AIDS virus.
The large-scale human trials are expected to involve 12,000 women to test the new gels, known as microbicides, which are applied internally by women -- before sex -- to stop the virus from entering the body or kill the virus, the BBC reported Sunday.
"Women are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection," said Hilary Benn, Britain's secretary of state for international development. "They are 20 percent more likely than men to be infected in sub-Saharan Africa."
The gels were developed by the British Medical Research Council and London's Imperial College with $30 million in assistance from the British government.
It the gels prove effective, Benn said there would still be a obstacles to making them affordable and getting them to the women who need them.