Фонд Билла и Мелинды Гейтс собирался испытать вакцину от ВИЧ на 1000 человек, занятых в секс-услугах. Подопытные были согласны, но попросили медицинскую страховку от побочных эффектов на 40 лет. Исследователи им отказали в связи с нехваткой денег на такое страхование. История тянулась пару месяцев, пока не вмешался премьер-министр.
Cambodia PM orders halt to HIV vaccine trial
Phnom Penh, August 12
Cambodian sex workers on Thursday hailed a decision by Prime Minister Hun Sen to halt a planned Bill Gates-funded HIV human vaccine trial.
Hun Sen called off the plans to test Tenofovir in Asia's worst HIV-affected nation because of potential side effects and human rights issues, the health ministry said.
"He is worried that the drug testing will affect the health of Cambodian people, human values and rights," Health Minister Nuth Sokhom told AFP.
The drug is used to treat HIV patients but the study was attempting to discover if it could reduce the risk of HIV among uninfected but sexually active adults.
Hun Sen said the trials should be carried out on animals and earlier this month had urged Cambodians to opt out of the research, saying the nation was not a test bed for "out-of-date" technologies.
Some 960 sex workers were slated to take part in the trial, partly funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but boycotted it saying they wanted medical insurance for side effects for up to 40 years after the study.
The Cambodian Women's Network for Unity, a group representing more than 5,000 sex workers, backed the decision.
"We are very happy with this order as we don't want to take part in this drug test, there is no safety guarantee for us," director Kao Tha said.
"We are so poor that we don't have the money to pay for treatment if we fall sick after the test.... We are very proud that Prime Minister Hun Sen supports us."
The HIV prevalence rate has fallen from four to 2.6 percent over the past two years in Cambodia, but remains the highest on the continent.
Researchers said they could not afford the insurance and the dispute had delayed the trial by several months.