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Letter: Fight against Aids

Sir: Dr Alan Stone is right about the importance of research into microbicides to help protect women from the HIV virus (letter, 3 February)

That's why the UK Government was the first in the world to fund this research. My department has provided pounds 16m (over five years) to the Microbicides Development Programme, administered by the Medical Research Council's Clinical Trials Unit, to develop a vaginal gel that hopefully will protect women against sexually transmitted diseases without the need for a condom.

We are currently considering the provision of substantial additional funding to the programme to enable phase III trials (when the microbicide gel is tested on humans) to be undertaken.


Secretary of State for International Development

House of Commons