This short online review aimed at non-specialists summarises the current status of microbicides research, describing in clear and concise terms the different types of microbicides currently in clinical trials, how they act, and their potential shortcomings. It refers to the increasing political and financial support that the microbicides field has gained recently, not least because of the lack of an effective HIV vaccine, but also points to the need for further developments to ensure the long-term success of microbicides as HIV prevention tools, including better ways of ensuring adherence to use.


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