An affordable, globally available drug — low-dose aspirin — could help prevent HIV transmission, scientists say.
HIV infection rates remain unacceptably high, especially among young African women.
Researchers tested the effect of aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs on HIV target cells in a group of Kenyan women who were at low risk for HIV.
The study was published in the Journal of the International AIDS Society.
Transmission of the virus requires a susceptible target cell in the human host. Activated immune cells are more susceptible to HIV infection than resting cells. It is known that inflammation brings activated HIV target cells to the female genital tract.
They found that Aspirin was the most effective as it reduced the number of HIV target cells in the female genital tract by 35%.
The reduced number of HIV target cells in the women who took aspirin approached the level found in Kenyan women at high risk of HIV contraction who have remained uninfected for many years.