FDA criticised over ad urging halt to taking anti-virus drug
A doctor of the Thai Red Cross has criticised the Food and Drug Administration for its alleged inaction against advertisements of a supplementary food that urged people with HIV to stop taking the anti-viral drug.
Dr Nitaya Phanuphak from the AIDS research centre of the Thai Red Cross, said such advertisements were extremely dangerous for people with HIV.
She said her office had warned the FDA that such misleading information could lead to deterioration of the condition of people with HIV and even cause death.
Dr Nitaya said doctors do not mind people with HIV taking supplementary food as long as they also take the anti-viral drug regularly. She said the composition of the food supplement would not counter the drug’s chemicals.
However, the advertisements were urging people with HIV to stop taking the anti-virus drug and to undergo a CD4 count.
Nitaya said people with HIV need to take the anti-viral drug regularly to reduce the level of the virus so that their CD4 number would be boosted and they could live a healthy life. She added that stopping intake of the drug would not reduce the CD4 number immediately but it would fall no more than two weeks after the number of the virus surges.
Worse still, stopping the drug would cause the virus to mutate and become drug resistant.
Nimit Thianudom, director of the AIDS Access Foundation, said such advertisements were dangerous and could affect Thailand’s goal of controlling the spread of AIDS.