Cambodia's prime minister halts AIDS drug trial
Hun Sen, the prime minister of Cambodia, has ordered his health minister to stop the planned trial of an anti-AIDS drug citing human rights concerns. He says the drug should be tested on animals instead of Cambodians.
Cambodia has the highest HIV infection rate in South-East Asia, due in part to its growing sex trade. The drug, Tenofovir, was due to be tested on hundreds of sex workers, some of whom protested that the planned trial did not provide any insurance against side effects. Activists elsewhere also claimed that the trial would have been exploitative (see Drug company accused of exploiting sex workers).
Tenofovir is already used to treat people infected with HIV. The trial in Cambodia aimed to assess whether the drug can also prevent new infections.