AskDefine | Define viricide

Dictionary Definition

viricide n : an agent (physical or chemical) that inactivates or destroys viruses [syn: virucide]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

  1. Any substance that destroys or inactivates viruses

Related terms

Extensive Definition

viricide may also refer to the killing of men or husbands, see gendercide.
A viricide is a chemical agent which "kills" viruses outside the body. Since "life" in viruses is debatable to begin with, the term generally means an antiseptic which reliably deactivates or destroys a virus.
Since the spermicide Nonoxynol-9 also shows some viricidal activity, many health experts recommended the use of spermicidally lubricated condoms for increased protection against HIV transmission. However subsequent studies have shown that it can in fact increase the risk of infection http://www.who.int/hiv/topics/microbicides/microbicides/en/.
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