Cameroon Health Ministry Agrees to Resume Viread Trial; FHI to Help Participants Infected During Study Find Treatment
February 24, 2005
Cameroon's Ministry of Health over the past few days has agreed to resume a clinical trial that is testing the antiretroviral drug Viread, known generically as tenofovir, to determine if it can reduce the risk of HIV infection, the Financial Times reports (Jack, Financial Times, 2/23). The health ministry earlier this month announced that it had suspended the trial, which involved HIV-negative commercial sex workers in the city of Douala, after the advocacy group ACT UP/Paris alleged that the trial violated ethical norms and called for it to be stopped. ACT UP/Paris claims that Gilead, which manufactures Viread, recruited particularly vulnerable participants for the trial without providing HIV/AIDS prevention information or treatment. Dr. Ward Cates, president of Family Health International's Institute for Family Health, which is conducting the study, flew to Cameroon to try to salvage the trial and denied ACT UP/Paris' claims that the study is unethical (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/8).
FHI Addressing Concerns
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