Taiwanese-American HIV/AIDS academic David Ho (何大一) is one of several overseas consultants who are helping with the treatment of the victims of a recent organ transplant scandal in which they were given HIV-infected organs, Centers for Disease Control Director-General Chang Feng-yee (張峰義) said.
“We have assembled a group of medical professionals to care for the five transplant recipients and the team members have consulted foreign experts, including Ho, on the best courses of treatment for the patients,” Chang said.
The five victims — four at National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei and one at National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Tainan — are taking post--transplant anti-rejection drugs and post-exposure anti-viral medication, Chang said.
“All the foreign experts with whom we have consulted, including Ho, agree that the anti-viral medication that we have prescribed to the five patients will not inhibit the function of the anti-rejection medication,” Chang said, adding that the therapy the patients are receiving is the most appropriate choice of drug combinations.
The five patients received organ transplants from a brain-dead HIV-positive donor on Aug. 24 and Aug. 25 and began to take preventive anti-viral medication on Aug. 26, Chang said.
“They have to take the drug combination for three months, at which point the medical team will then assess whether the drug regimen should be continued or can be stopped,” Chang said, adding that HIV infection cannot be confirmed until six months after the end of drug therapy.
Liao Hsueh-tsung (廖學聰), director of Taipei Medical University Hospital’s AIDS therapy center, said that in 2000, a patient took post-exposure anti-viral medication for nine months after receiving an HIV-contaminated blood transfusion.
The patient tested negative six months after he ended the drug regimen, he said.
MRNA VACCINE: Heart inflammation is rare, but possible after a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shot, and students need to be aware of possible side effects, an expert said As Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations for students aged 12 to 17 are to begin on campuses on Thursday next week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged recipients to be especially watchful for five signs of possible myocarditis or pericarditis, which are rare adverse reactions to some COVID-19 vaccines. The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices convener Lee Ping-ing (李秉穎) joined the CECC’s daily news briefing to report on possible side effects after receiving a BioNTech vaccine. Lee said that cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been observed in people in the US who have received mRNA COVID-19
National Taiwan University Hospital’s (NTUH) Ethical Review Committee on Tuesday approved the hospital’s application to conduct human trials of mixed Moderna and Medigen COVID-19 vaccines. The hospital yesterday said that 220 volunteers aged 20 to 70 who have received one dose of a Moderna vaccine eight to 12 weeks ago are to be enrolled in the program. The volunteers are to be separated into two groups — a treatment group and a control group — and a double-blind study would be conducted, assigning Medigen or Moderna vaccines to the groups on a random basis, it said. The trial is expected to start
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two
TAIWAN TIES: The foreign ministry said like-minded nations continue to express support for Taiwan’s ties with Lithuania, highlighting a letter by Slovenia’s PM US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday saluted Lithuania’s championing of democracy in Taiwan and Belarus. Lithuania in July agreed to let Taiwan open a representative office using its own name, prompting a pressure campaign by China. “We stand against economic coercion, including that being exerted by China,” Blinken said as he welcomed Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis in Washington. “We stand strongly for democracy, including in Belarus, where we’re very much working together,” Blinken said. Landsbergis told reporters afterward that he and Blinken discussed “economic, financial, political measures” that can be taken to withstand Chinese pressure. “We discussed various possible measures