Cameroon Health Ministry Suspends Clinical Trial Testing Tenofovir for HIV Prevention
February 7, 2005
The Cameroon Ministry of Health on Thursday announced that it has suspended a "controversial" clinical trial that is testing the antiretroviral drug Viread, which is known generically as tenofovir, to determine if it can reduce the risk of HIV infection, AFP/Cameroon-info.net reports. Health Minister Urbain Awono said that the trial, which involved commercial sex workers in the city of Douala, was suspended for "failings in their implementation," according to AFP/Cameroon-info.net. In a demonstration last month outside the Cameroon embassy in Paris, members of ACT UP/Paris asked that the trial be halted for running "counter to ethical norms," AFP/Cameroon-info.net reports. ACT UP/Paris claims that Gilead, which manufactures Viread, recruited "particularly vulnerable" commercial sex workers for the trial without providing HIV/AIDS prevention programs or treatment (AFP/Cameroon-info.net, 2/3). NIH, CDC and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are funding three separate studies of Viread. The drug is FDA-approved for use as a treatment for HIV infection and has been shown to boost immune response and lower viral levels in the bloodstreams of patients who are resistant to other antiretrovirals. CDC has granted $3.5 million to fund trial sites in San Francisco and Atlanta, while the Gates Foundation awarded a $6.5 million grant to Family Health International to conduct a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial including 2,000 HIV-negative volunteers at sites in Cambodia, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and Malawi (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/22/04).
Cameroon Health Ministry Agrees to Resume Viread Trial; FHI to Help Participants Infected During Study Find Treatment
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.