Trials for HIV drugs to start
The JJ hospital’s ethical committee approved a drug trial in which the antiHIV medicine Zidovudine will be studied for its efficacy in reducing the chances of HIVpositive pregnant women passing on the infection to their babies. The drug will be given during the last three months of pregnancy and during labour intravenously. Trials are proposed to be carried out at 11 centres in India. Other centres include hospitals in Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Manipur. The project has been proposed by NACO and will be funded by UNICEF. If the drug is found to be effective, it will be introduced in the Maternal and Child Health programme. The project’s duration will be around 18 months. A senior doctor revealed that the ethical committee could not arrive at a decision on two previous occasions because of lack of literature about the project. The literature was provided recently and the 16-member committee gave the go-ahead for the project.
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