BANGKOK--Researchers need $750 million in additional funding to develop an effective vaginal microbicide that will reduce women's high risk of infection from unprotected sex, experts said at the International AIDS Conference, which closes here today.

In some parts of South Africa, half of all women aged 15 to 24 are now infected with HIV, and “monogamous marriage” was identified at the conference's closing ceremony as a major risk factor for young women, because of men's unfaithfulness.

But a 60% effective microbicide used in 20% of coital acts could save 2.5 million people in 3 years, said Zeda Rosenberg, CEO of the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), a 2-year-old public-private partnership created to accelerate research and development (R&D) to create a practical product.

“Microbicides need investment of about $1 billion,” Mark Mitchnick, director of R&D at IPM, told The Scientist. “About $250 m is [already] committed”, including...

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