Sex

New tampon could prevent HIV

Scientists are working on a dissolvable tampon which would drastically reduce the spread of disease.

Not into condoms? You’re not alone, but things could be changing for the better.

A team of bioengineers from the University of Washington have conducted new research, and hope to move it through clinical trials soon, into creating dissolvable tampons which deliver HIV-preventing medication into your vagina pre-sex.

Maraviroc – a drug used to help treat HIV, which could be just as beneficial in preventing it – is spun into the silky fibres of the tampon, and then dissolves when it comes in contact with the vaginal wall’s moisture.

Inserted shortly before having sex, it would eliminate the need for condoms as a prevention for sexually-transmitted disease. “We envision a product that could dissolve, pretty much instantaneously, into a gel and then spread around the vagina during sex,” lead author on the research paper, Cameron Ball, told The Huffington Post.

It’s an incredible innovation, but unfortunately might be one for the next generation.

“It would probably take five years to get into clinical study phase, with humans, and then depending on how that goes, it would probably take another five years before these types of things might be seen on the [shelves],” he admits.

STI rates are an on-going problem in Australia with one in eight people under 25 estimated to have genital herpes, and last year HIV infection rates were at a 20-year high.

Mark your calendars, ladies.