Hyderabad doctors claim AIDS cure with homeopathy

Doctors at the Jayasurya Potti Sreeramulu Government Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital in Hyderabad are administering a homeopathy drug to people living with HIV in a supposed “clinical trial” and claiming that the drug can cure them of the disease, according to a report inThe Hindu. The doctors say they have given the drug to more than 10,000 patients and that eight of these people have turned HIV negative.

The National AIDS Control Organisation will soon initiate legal and administrative action against the doctors for misleading patients, not registering a clinical trial and for not informing the AIDS organisation about the trial.

The homeopathic medicine is made out of the venom of the timber rattlesnake that is endemic to eastern United States. Dr S Praveen Kumar, principal of the medical college and the researcher at the helm of the trial said that the drug has been uses in homeopathy for the last 200 years. He also claimed that it works by inhibiting the enzyme reverse transcriptase that helps convert RNA into DNA and so prevents multiplication of a virus like the Ebola virus and HIV.

Although Kumar and his team are already claiming early success, any improvement in the condition of those being given the drug may be due to the fact that they have been on continuous antiretroviral therapy since doctors ask the patients already on ART to continue the regimen while adding their pill to the treatment protocols.

Lab finds Beed vaccine batch was defective

The Central Drugs Laboratory in Kasauli has certified that a batch of injectable pentavalent vaccines used in Maharashtra’s Beed district is not of standard quality. The pentavalent vaccine is used to provide protection against five diseases – diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and haemophilus influenzae Type B. One batch of the vaccine was under scrutiny after the death of an infant who had been immunised in early December.

The laboratory has confirmed that vaccine batch had some floccules or suspended matter that may have contaminated the vaccine.

The vaccines samples were collected after a two-month-old child Aarohi Bajgude in Beed on the afternoon of December 5, having received the vaccination that morning. District health authorities had conducted a post mortem immediately. The post mortem report said that the child had died of aspiration pneumonitis where the child regurgitated milk that then entered her lung.

“There were eight other children who were given vaccine using the same vial,” said a senior health official from Beed. “The other are perfectly fine.”

Although the vaccine samples were shows below standard physical characteristics, they complied with standards for toxicity and sterility. Last week, the drug inspector of Osmanabad district Sunil Gawli, who had collected the vaccines samples in Beed and investigated the matter, wrote to Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration officials to stop distribution and use of the vaccine and recall the distributed stock.

Another case for abortion beyond 20 weeks

Yet another abortion case went to the Supreme Court last week as a woman sought permission to terminate her pregnancy of 24 weeks on the grounds that her foetus has multiple anomalies including the lack of kidneys.

The law as laid out by Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act prohibits termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks but a spate of cases by women seeking abortions of foetus’ with severe medical anomalies has raised the question of whether this deadline needs to be revised. In mid-January, the Supreme Court had allowed a woman in the 24th week of her pregnancy to abort her foetus that did not have a skull.

In this case, the Supreme Court has ordered the seven-member medical board of the King Edward memorial hospital in Mumbai to examine the women and report on whether it is advisable to allow the 21-year-old woman to terminate the pregnancy.