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Archived Comments for: Dangerous medicines: Unproven AIDS cures and counterfeit antiretroviral drugs

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  1. V-1 Immunitor

    Joseph Amon, Human Rights Watch

    9 May 2008

    Shortly following publication of this article, Dr. Aldar S. Bourinbaiar of Immunitor USA Inc sent me an article ["Low-Cost Anti-HIV Compounds: Potential Application for AIDS Therapy in Developing Countries" by Aldar S. Bourinbaiar and Vichai Jirathitikal, Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2003, 9 (18): 1419-1431] that provided additional information on the distribution of V-1 Immunitor in Thailand and the Thai government's response.

    The article states that as of 2003, V-1 Immunitor had been distributed to about 65,000 HIV-infected individuals in Thailand and 50 countries around the world. Regarding the distribution of the medicine in Thailand, the article states:

    "Public opinion on V1 became sharply divided in the summer of 2001 when V1 was given away free-of-charge by local charities during massive distribution rallies at stadiums, schools, police stations and Buddhist temples. Small but vocal opponent groups and some in the local medical establishment decried such handouts as unethical, despite having nothing to offer to dying AIDS patients [115]. The proponents of V1 argued that the lack of affordable and safe anti-HIV therapy in poor countries and the indignation of patients who were abandoned by their doctors was the main impetus that drove thousands of patients to voluntarily attend these events. The Thai Ministry of Public Health, which conducted a study in a random sample of 50 HIV-infected individuals, declared in August 2001 that V1 had no effect on viral load or CD4/CD8 T-cell counts - an announcement interpreted by several media outlets that V1 was "useless" [116]. However there were serious and major flaws in this study."

    Competing interests