The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has developed a synthetic gel for protection against HIV and genital herpes, based on cow mucin — containing mucin. Laboratory tests have shown that the innovative product is 70 % effective against HIV and 80 % effective against herpes.
Medical Columnist, Ornament
AIDS and STDs
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections are reported worldwide every day. AIDS, a disease caused by HIV, also remains a serious global problem.
Test results offer hope that the gel product can prevent the spread of dangerous diseases.
The miracle substance
The hydrogel is made from bovine — type mucin in purified form. It is similar to mucin, the main component of mucus that is produced in the human body.
The high effectiveness of the synthetic gel in the fight against HIV and genital herpes is due to the natural complex structure of mucin molecules. Additionally, there is no risk of side effects or the development of resistance, as in the case of other antiviral compounds. According to scientists, such an effect would be difficult to achieve with a polymer made from scratch.
Viral prophylaxis tests were conducted in the laboratory on several cell types. The results were published in the scientific journal Advanced Science on September 14, 2022.
In humans, mucin molecules bind to viral particles and capture them, then are excreted with mucus. In addition, the mucins in the synthetic gel weaken the activation of immune cells that stimulate HIV reproduction.
The gel is a good alternative to the condom for protection against HIV and genital herpes. It could also be used additionally, as insurance, in case the condom is damaged.