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Study Shows Stigma Impacts Women’s Taking Of Drug To Prevent HIV, Stirs Debate On Conduct Of HIV Drug Trials

International Business Times: An End To HIV In Africa Draws Near As Drugs Are Better Than Ever, But Stigma May Be Final Hurdle
“…In some areas of sub-Saharan Africa, where the vast majority of new infections have occurred, shame has kept many at-risk people from seeking treatment or taking measures to prevent infection, especially among women, who account for the majority of new HIV infections on the continent. When presented with state-of-the-art drugs that have proved to be powerful, safe and effective at preventing HIV infection, many women were reluctant to take the medications or stopped taking them altogether, according to a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine that looked at the rates of HIV infection among women in sub-Saharan Africa…” (Ross, 2/4).

New York Times: A Failed Trial in Africa Raises Questions About How to Test HIV Drugs
“The surprising failure of a large clinical trial of HIV-prevention methods in Africa — and the elaborate deceptions employed by the women in it — have opened an ethical debate about how to run such studies in poor countries and have already changed the design of some that are now underway. Scientists who conduct clinical trials are now testing participants’ blood more often and holding group discussions to quell rumors and urge participants to take their medications diligently…” (McNeil, 2/4).

VOA News: Study: African Women at Highest Risk for HIV Don’t Use Prevention Drugs
“Most young women who are at the highest risk of contracting the AIDS virus do not use drugs designed to prevent HIV infection, even when they’re offered. That’s the conclusion of a new study that looked at so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, in thousands of women in Africa. … Many of the women in the study felt stigmatized using an AIDS medication…” (Berman, 2/4).

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