US journal attacks unethical HIV trials

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 27 September 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:763
  1. Debbie Josefson
  1. San Francisco

    The New England Journal of Medicine (337:847-9, 853-6) has questioned the ethics of United States sponsored experiments in developing countries that test various methods of reducing the vertical transmission of HIV. The studies are controversial because some of the control groups are denied antiretroviral drugs.

    About 300 000 cases of transmission of AIDS from mother to child occur annually, mostly in developing countries. Three years ago the AIDS Clinical Trials Group showed that zidovudine substantially reduces perinatal transmission of HIV, decreasing the rate of infection by 66%. Giving zidovudine in the last trimester to …

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