Table 3

 Primary mechanisms of action for microbicide products with selected examples

Mechanism of actionExample products*Phase in trials
*See Alliance for Microbicide Development website for complete list of candidate microbicides and further description of potential mechanisms of action (
Disruption/inactivation of pathogenSodium lauryl sulfate (“Invisible Condom”)1/2
(surfactants)C31G (Savvy)3
Strengthening of vaginal defence systemBufferGel2/2B
Lactobacillus crispatus suppository (Lactin vaginal capsule)2
Inhibit infection and/or uptake by target cells via cell surface receptorsCarrageenan (Carraguard)3
Naphthalene sulfonate polymer (PRO2000)2/2B
dextrin-2 sulfate (Emmelle)3
Cellulose sulfate3
Prevent systemic infection after localTenofovir (PMPA)1 (2 planned)
infection of target cellsUC-7811
TMC 120preclinical