(WECT) - A product that is supposed to make sex more pleasurable is being linked to a way to help block the transmission of the deadly AIDS virus.
On a small scale trial using monkeys, two doctors have found out how to block the transmission of HIV using, what is in simplest terms, a doctored up form of KY-Jelly.
"It has the kind of efficacy that would avert millions of cases of HIV if it were used even part of the time by women," said Dr. Ashley Haase.
In a pilot test with 5 monkeys, the scientist found that a monkey, when using the gel containing a common food additive called GML, did not contract the virus from a carrier.
If the next step in research shows the same result happens in humans, the results could be astounding.
"This is a way for a woman to treat herself to prevent herself from being infected by someone who has the virus," said microbiologist Patrick Schlievert.
When GML, or Glycerol Monolaureate, is emulsified into a lubricant it acts as a blocker to the virus. GML is already approved by the FDA and is used in everything from make-up to ice cream.
The cost is minuscule at less than a penny per human size dosage, but cost isn't at issue right now - more research is.
"It has the potential to be the most significant work that I have done because it could impact millions of people," said Schlievert.
"Very significant. We are very interested in the results and hopefully when combined with another approach it will be truly effective in humans but that's the next chapter in the story," said Dr. Haase.
A separate clinical study sponsored by the medical research council is currently testing another dose that may prevent HIV infection among women in Africa.
That study involves nearly 9,400 women and is set to conclude in August of 2009.
To learn more about the HIV gel, click here.