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South African research into AIDS “cure” severely criticised

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 15 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:769
  1. Pat Sidley
  1. Johannesburg

    Research into a cure for AIDS conducted by a Pretoria University team has been condemned by a team of experts that has looked into the claims of the team and found them seriously wanting. A joint inquiry by the Gauteng Health Department and University of Pretoria found no scientific evidence that the drug, called Virodene P058, inhibits progression of HIV infection (8 February, p 450).

    The drug Virodene P058 did not have a proved action against


    The drug contains a toxic industrial solvent called diethylformamide. The chairman of the inquiry committee, Professor Henk Huismans, told reporters that the preclinical trial research and experiments were so “sloppy” that the results of the clinical trials could not be determined with any degree of certainty. The …

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