Two very different but extremely good pieces of news crossed the Web networks today. The first, and most world-altering, is that a new gel that would prevent women from contracting HIV could be available as soon as 2010. The microbicide, used in gel, cream, sponge or cervical-ring forms, is currently being tested in multiple clinical trials with thousands of women internationally, and results from those trials could come as soon as 2008. If governments then fast-tracked the approval process and production of the microbicide, 2010 would be the earliest it could be on the market.
And in unrelated but also awesome news is the decree, posted by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his Web site on Monday, that Iranian women will be allowed to attend soccer matches for the first time since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. Part of Ahmadinejad's reasoning was that "the presence of families and women will improve soccer-watching manners, and promote a healthy atmosphere." Hey, whatever gets them to the ballgame! In addition, ladies will apparently be allocated some of the best seats, separated from male fans in their own section. Of course, women in Iran are still not allowed to become judges, and there's a major legal crackdown on those who flout the strict rules for modest, fully covered dress. But they are allowed to drive, vote and run for office. And now they can watch the football.