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Release: Feb. 5, 2002

UI invites women to participate in genital herpes study

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

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.

Healthy women ages 18 to 65 who have frequent genital herpes outbreaks 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 also must be willing to make frequent visits -- a minimum of 12 -- to UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Visits will be every other day during the first treated outbreak. Subsequent outbreaks would require participants to report to the clinic twice during each outbreak. In addition, scheduled visits –- not related to outbreaks –- are every three months during the study. The study length is one year after the initial treated outbreak.

Participants randomly will be provided with the gel or with placebo (inactive substance) for application twice a week (for one week) for each recurrence. Compensation will also be provided.

The UI study is being led by Kevin Ault, M.D., UI assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics. The UI is one of 125 sites nationwide, as well as 40 in Europe, investigating the drug.

For more information, women can contact Tracy Peters at (319) 356-2719 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or by e-mail at

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.