A bill that would fund and encourage microbicide research was introduced on Tuesday in the US House by Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Chris Shays (R-CT), and Danny Davis (D-IL). The Microbicide Development Act would authorize federal funding for 2006-2007 and establish a federal plan for cooperation in microbicide research and development among the National Institutes of Health (NIH), CDC and USAID. It would also create an NIH division for microbicide research.
Microbicides, spermicide-like gels or creams that can be used vaginally or anally to help prevent AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, are considered the single-best hope for millions of women around the world who do not have the power to demand condom use. “In many settings, an HIV-infected woman has had only one partner: her husband. Microbicides would allow these women to protect themselves against the spread of disease,” Rep. Shays said in a release announcing the bill.