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AIDS Trials Ethics Questioned

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Science  25 Apr 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5312, pp. 520-523
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5312.520

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The advent of potent combination-drug therapies that can drive HIV in the blood to undetectable levels has thrown the world of AIDS drug testing into turmoil. Some researchers are lambasting drug developers for continuing to offer drug trial participants less than these optimal regimens. But there is hot debate about what constitutes "suboptimal" treatment. And some researchers also argue that to know how to maximize patients' options, clinical trials must examine a wide range of treatments, including those that may have only modest firepower against the virus. A Policy Forum on this topic appears on page 548.