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HIV-Killing Condom Could Launch In Next Few Months

LONDON (CBS Atlanta) - A virus-killing condom is one step closer to the open market, reports Live Science.

An Australian company has developed an antiviral compound called VivaGel. Maker Stapharma says lab tests have shown it can destroy or deactivate up to 99.9 percent of HIV, herpes and other sexually transmitted viruses.

The biotech firm is teaming up with the world's second-largest condom maker, Ansell, also based in Australia, to create a product that combines the antiviral substance with lubricant.

The condom design has been approved Australian regulators. There is one final step, which the company says should take a few weeks to complete.

"Condoms are not 100 per cent effective in preventing either pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections and so anything that you can do to reduce the number of virus particles by inactivating them with a substance like VivaGel would reduce reduce that overall viral load," Stapharma executive Dr. Jackie Fairley told Live Science.

She says there are no current plans to sell VivaGel as a standalone product.

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