Enemas are commonly used by men who have sex with men (MSM) and transwomen (TW) before sexual intercourse.
But these groups are vulnerable to HIV and a host of other sexually transmitted infections because enemas – even those that use tap water - can seriously damage the thin tissue lining the rectum, allowing for easier transmission of harmful viruses and bacteria.
"A douche-based rectal microbicide that is safe and effective could play an important role by providing another HIV prevention option for these highly vulnerable groups," said Brandon Brown, an assistant professor in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside in US who led the research project.
"In view of the expanding global HIV epidemics in MSM and TW, there is an urgent and immediate need for novel HIV prevention options, such as the douche-based rectal microbicides we propose, that can be readily incorporated into existing sexual practices," said Brown.
"While we conducted the study among MSM and TW in Peru, our findings may extend to these groups locally and globally," said Brown.
"Unfortunately, little is known about rectal douching practices among these groups and the damage such practices may cause," he said.
The study was published in the journal AIDS and Behaviour.



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