NEVIRAPINE — P.S.
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/08/06
No sooner had we posted about the toxicity of nevirapine than it was featured in another story:
“Stanford Study Finds HIV Drug Can Persist in Mothers’ Milk, Increasing Risk to Them and Their Babies” (SOURCE: Stanford University Medical Center)
“STANFORD, Calif., Aug 05, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — A drug commonly used in the developing world to prevent transmission of HIV from mother to child persists in the breast milk and blood of the mothers, putting them and their babies at risk for developing drug-resistant strains of the virus, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine” [emphasis added].
Over and over again, HIV/AIDS researchers show that the only thing they care about is THE VIRUS.
God forbid that THE VIRUS should escape our drugs! If we have to ruin the livers of mothers and babies in order to kill the virus—well, that’s unavoidable collateral damage. What’s intolerable is that the drugs should be so ineffective as to allow mutant strains of THE VIRUS to evolve.
“The researchers found that the drug, nevirapine, stays in the blood and breast milk of the infected mothers for at least two weeks. During that time, the virus has ample opportunity to transform itself into drug-resistant strains of HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS, which can be very difficult to treat.”
What about the hepatotoxicity? What happens to the livers of those newborns during those two weeks?
“In the short term, nevirapine is better than nothing,” said David Katzenstein, MD, professor of infectious diseases and principal investigator of the study. [Some might argue, on rather solid grounds, that “nothing”—doing nothing— would actually be much better than nevirapine.] “But in the long term, I’m concerned about conferring resistance. If you’re talking about resistance on a broad scale, it could jeopardize future treatment for mothers and infants” [assuming, of course, that in the meantime they haven’t succumbed to liver failure or other “side”-effects of antiretroviral drugs].
“Seble Kassaye, MD, instructor in infectious diseases and first author of the study, will present the results Aug. 5 at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City”
where many other studies will also be presented in which THE VIRUS is the focus, not the quality of life of people who happen to test “HIV-positive”.
As is characteristic of the HIV/AIDS scene, facts are ignored in favor of shibboleths and myths:
“Sixty-five percent [of the mothers] had drug-resistant strains in their breast milk as well, with the potential to pass this on to their babies through breastfeeding, a common mode of viral transmission”.
But study after study has shown that the more there is breast-feeding, the LESS likely that the baby becomes “HIV-positive” [MORE HIV, LESS INFECTION: THE BREASTFEEDING CONUNDRUM, 21 November; HIV and BREASTFEEDING AGAIN, 13 February 2008].
“Last year, 420,000 babies were born HIV-positive, the large majority of them to HIV-infected mothers in sub-Saharan Africa, according to figures from the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS. The centerpiece of public health programs in the developing world to stop mother-to-child transmission of HIV are both zidovudine (AZT) and nevirapine, which have been used as preventive tools in nearly 900,000 women and infants worldwide”.
Several of my posts have addressed the question, how can the HIV/AIDS bandwagon be stopped? [HOW CAN THE HIV/AIDS BANDWAGON BE STOPPED?, 27 January 2008; STOPPING THE HIV/AIDS BANDWAGON—-Part II, 1 February 2008; A SMALL HITCH IN THE BANDWAGON?, 29 May 2008; The CASES AGAINST HIV: Strategies for Halting the Bandwagon, 29 July 2008].
Here’s one unpleasant possibility. AZT and nevirapine continue to be administered to increasing numbers of African women and babies. Over time, the liver damage to mothers and babies and life-long mitochondrial damage to the babies become so obvious that they can no longer be ignored.
To coin a phrase, there will then be hell to pay.
This entry was posted on 2008/08/06 at 10:53 am and is filed under antiretroviral drugs, clinical trials, experts, HIV in children, HIV transmission. Tagged: nevirapine. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.