Apr 7, 2009 | 3
Teens in South Africa have found a new use for efavirenz (brand name Stocrin in South Africa and Sustiva in the U.S.), an antiretroviral drug that prevents HIV from making copies of itself in the body. Instead of using efavirenz as it was intended – to keep the AIDS virus at bay – kids are crushing the pills and smoking the powder to get high, ABC News reports.
When taken as prescribed, efavirenz can cause side effects, including drowsiness and vivid, colorful dreams, but when smoked, it induces hallucinations and is highly addictive. "Once you've first started, there's no turning back," a 17-year-old addict told ABC News.
Nov 26, 2008 | 2
Among the unresolved issues surrounding the AIDS pandemic is which strategy — pushing prevention techniques or HIV treatments — will best reduce the disease's spread. Now, World Health Organization (WHO) researchers say that annual testing and immediate drug treatment of those who test positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, could within a decade virtually eliminate new cases of AIDS in the hardest-hit countries.
The findings, published this week in The Lancet, are based on a mathematical model. They don't reflect a change in WHO's current recommendation of voluntary testing, the agency says. "This is a theoretical exercise based on mathematical modeling to stimulate discussion," Kevin de Cock, head of WHO's AIDS department, told the Washington Post.
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