Published: Wednesday 31 October 2001

An 'immune-boosting' drug derived from coal is being tested on hiv-infected soldiers in Tanzania. About 350 soldiers in several military clinics are involved in the trial of the drug called oxyhumate-k. However, there is controversy about Tanzanian authorities giving permission for the trials. The drug has been developed by South Africa's state-owned company Enerkom. It is already marketed as a health supplement in South Africa and is said to have no adverse side-effects. However, Tanzanian authorities are apprehensive about these claims, as another South African 'anti-aids' drug tested in Tanzania had turned out to be a toxic industrial solvent.

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