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Notice to Readers: CDC Statement on Study Results of Product Containing Nonoxynol-9

During the XIII International AIDS Conference held in Durban, South Africa, July 9--14, 2000, researchers from the Joint United Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS) presented results of a study of a product, COL-1492,* which contains nonoxynol-9 (N-9) (1). N-9 products are licensed for use in the United States as spermicides and are effective in preventing pregnancy, particularly when used with a diaphragm. The study examined the use of COL-1492 as a potential candidate microbicide, or topical compound to prevent the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The study found that N-9 did not protect against HIV infection and may have caused more transmission. The women who used N-9 gel became infected with HIV at approximately a 50% higher rate than women who used the placebo gel.

CDC has released a "Dear Colleague" letter that summarizes the findings and implications of the UNAIDS study. The letter is available on the World-Wide Web,; a hard copy is available from the National Prevention Information Network, telephone (800) 458-5231. Future consultations will be held to re-evaluate guidelines for HIV, STDs, and pregnancy prevention in populations at high risk for HIV infection. A detailed scientific report will be released on the Web when additional findings are available.


  1. van Damme L. Advances in topical microbicides. Presented at the XIII International AIDS Conference, July 9--14, 2000, Durban, South Africa.

* Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not constitute endorsement by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Page converted: 8/10/2000


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