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Release: March 6, 2001

UI invites people to participate in genital herpes study

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Genital herpes, the most common sexually transmitted disease, affects nearly 45 million Americans, and the outbreaks associated with the condition can be painful and difficult to control.

University of Iowa Health Care researchers invite people with genital herpes to participate in a study on the effectiveness of an experimental gel to prevent or delay recurrences of the condition.

Healthy women and men ages 18 to 65 who have four or more genital herpes outbreaks each year are invited to participate in the study. Participants must agree to use a medically acceptable form of birth control while enrolled in the study. Participants must also be willing to make weekly UI Hospitals and Clinics visits -- up to 10 in all -- once an outbreak has occurred and be available for follow-up assessment. Participants randomly will be provided with the gel or with placebo (inactive substance) for application up to three times weekly for three-week periods. Compensation will also be provided.

The UI study is being led by Kevin Ault, M.D., UI assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics, and Kara Wools-Kaloustian, M.D., UI assistant professor (clinical) of internal medicine. The UI is one of 20 sites nationwide participating in the study.

For more information on how to participate, women can call Tracy Peters at (319) 356-2719 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or e-mail Interested men can call Nancy Wagner at (319) 384-9569 during the same hours or e-mail

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.