Irish moss may have role in protecting against HIV

Next month in Bangkok at an international AIDS conference, the world will hear about a new product offering women a way to protect themselves.

The topical treatment, an HIV blocking agent, is made with carrageenan. The registered name of the still-experimental vaginal gel is Carraguard.

The primary source of carrageenan is the Irish moss found in Nova Scotia's rich seaweed beds. Three-quarters of the world's Irish moss comes from the Maritime provinces, where it's harvested from the wild.

The product is called a microbicide - although it doesn't kill microbes but rather prevents infection by binding to the surface of the virus, preventing the microbes from adhering to nearby cells and infecting them.

Source - Novaserve Magazine

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