At the present time, if a couple wants to avoid a pregnancy and the risk of HIV transmission, but do not wish to be abstinent, the only option is to use a condom during sex. It is the only form of birth control that also protects against disease. But this method is not discreet enough for some. That is why researchers are working on a new method using cloth with little tiny fibers that can release medicine that will be effective and inexpensive. The study findings were just recently published in a medical journal.

To create such tiny fibers, the material must be spun electronically. This is an incredibly effective way to introduce medicine because of the properties of the fibers that are spun in this manner. Antibodies and proteins are difficult to deliver through liquids or tablets, but can be provided by this means.

The FDA has approved the liquid that is being pushed through the electric field to integrate it into the fabric. The resulting cloth has a spandex like quality to it and is capable of stopping sperm from passing through. It can also contain spermicides and other drugs to halt the spread of diseases like HIV.

Researchers also developed a dissolving fabric that can provide several days of protection until it has fully disintegrated. Just like a vaccine may deliver a burst of protection at regular intervals, the same can be done with these fibers to keep the level of medicine high for several days. This material would either be inserted directly into the woman’s body, or it could be used to make other products for application.

While the electronic spinning of fabric is a technology that has existed for quite some time, this is the first time that anyone has tried to use it for this sort of application. It seems to be a way to skirt around the need to purchase, carry, and use condoms. The next step is to see if this is really a viable alternative to condoms.