Does a direct deposit of anti-HIV meds into the vagina minutes before sexual intercourse seem like an ideal way to protect women from HIV transmission?

The meds would saturate dissolvable fibers placed in a special tampon, an application tool familiar to women worldwide, or the fibers could be shaped into a ring for insertion into the vagina, according to recent findings from a study conducted by a team of University of Washington researchers.

Another insertable agent is a semi-soft suppository made from carrageenan, a food ingredient derived from seaweed. The suppository would come loaded with the HIV drug tenofovir (Viread).

The attractiveness of these methods of delivering HIV protection to women stands in stark contrast to messy microbicide gels, creams, tablets or films.

Women account for one in four people living with HIV in the United States, and African-American women and Latinas are disproportionately affected at all stages of HIV infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The hope is that with continued research of vaginal inserts, protecting women from the virus will be as simple as slipping a tampon, ring or suppository firmly into place.

How easy is that?