Lubricant Provides Poor Rectal Mucosal HIV Coverage

Eugenie C. Shieh, Ethel D. Weld, Edward J. Fuchs, Hiwot Hiruy, Karen W. Buckheit, Robert W. Buckheit, Jennifer Breakey, Craig W. Hendrix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Given the rising HIV incidence in men who have sex with men (MSM) despite repeatedly proven effectiveness of oral HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, behaviorally congruent periodic dosing strategies, such as dosing microbicides as lubricants, are now in demand. Rectal microbicide gel studies largely administer gels using vaginal applicators, which have not been well received and do not mimic lubricant use. We compared rectal gel manually dosed as lubricant with applicator dosing in five healthy, HIV-negative MSM who received 10 or 3.5 ml of 99mTc-DTPA-radiolabeled hydroxyethyl cellulose universal placebo gel intrarectally. After washout, participants received 10 ml of radiolabeled Wet® Original® lubricant to apply to the anus with fingers and/or a phllus in a manner typical of sexual lubricant use with a partner, followed by simulated receptive anal intercourse. Single-photon emission computed tomography with transmission computed tomography was performed 4 h after each gel administration. Manual dosing was associated with more variable rectosigmoid distribution, 4.4-15.3 cm from the anorectal junction, compared with more uniform distribution, 5.9-7.4 and 5.3-7.6 cm after 10 and 3.5 ml applicator dosing, respectively. A significantly smaller fraction of the initial 10 ml dose was retained within the colon after manual dosing, 3.4%, compared with 94.9% and 88.4% after 10 and 3.5 ml applicator dosing, respectively (both p < .001). Manual dosing of a sexual lubricant delivered a small, variable fraction of the dose with variable rectosigmoid distribution compared with applicator dosing. These results raise concern that dosing a rectal microbicide gel as a sexual lubricant may not provide adequate or predictable mucosal coverage for HIV protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)784-787
Number of pages4
JournalAIDS research and human retroviruses
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • gastrointestinal distribution
  • human immunodeficiency virus
  • microbicide
  • pharmacokinetics
  • pre-exposure prophylaxis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Lubricant Provides Poor Rectal Mucosal HIV Coverage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this