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China is using HIV medicine to treat COVID

TCS Wire

July 26, 2022

China has just approved an HIV medication, Azvudine, to be used as the country’s first anti-COVID pill.

China is using HIV medicine to treat COVID
China is using HIV medicine to treat COVID

According to Reuters, the medication (created by Genuine Biotech) was approved just last year for treatment. However, it wasn’t created to alleviate COVID symptoms. It was created to treat HIV-1 virus infections.

This news comes one week after Genuine Biotech released a report claiming that 40.4% of people who took Azvudine saw an improvement in COVID symptoms within a week, while only 10.9% of those who didn’t take the drug likewise saw an improvement.

Still, the company has yet to release data related to hospitalizations and deaths, and some have claimed the pill is lacklustre at best in treating COVID.

Nevertheless, China plans to produce 6.8 billion pills at half the price of Pfizer’s Paxlovid and make them widely available for adults with “normal type” COVID (i.e., non-severe COVID), with some speculating that the drug is “better than nothing.”

According to one report on trials of the HIV drug, “Recently, we discovered that oral administration of FNC could largely concentrate the drug in the thymus in its active form, efficiently inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication in vivo, preserve thymus immune function, and rapidly cure patients with COVID-19.”

While it’s unlikely HIV meds will end COVID by China’s standards, many are hoping that it will lessen the impact of COVID enough that the government will loosen or end its COVID-zero policy that has led to major months-long lockdowns.

This would be a miracle to many, as China has only been ramping up its restrictions and response.

Earlier this month, health authorities began strapping COVID tracking bracelets on innocent citizens suspected of being infected or having come in contact with an infected person to enforce self-isolation quarantine rules.

Children have also been separated from their families for testing positive for COVID and have been recorded being jammed shoulder to shoulder in steel cribs in quarantine facilities.

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