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Government Tested AIDS Drugs on Foster Kids [MSNBC; h/t Racialicious]

Researchers reported some children had to be taken off the drug because of “serious toxicity,” others developed rashes, and the rates of death and blood toxicity were significantly higher in children who took the medicine daily, rather than weekly.

At least 10 children died from a variety of causes, including four from blood poisoning, and researchers said they were unable to determine a safe, useful dosage. They said the deaths didn’t appear to be “directly attributable” to dapsone but nonetheless were “disturbing.”

“An unexpected finding in our study was that overall mortality while receiving the study drug was significantly higher in the daily dapsone group. This finding remains unexplained,” the researchers concluded.

Another study involving foster children in the 1990s treated children with different combinations of adult antiretroviral drugs. Among 52 children, there were 26 moderate to severe reactions — nearly all in infants. The side effects included rash, fever and a major drop in infection-fighting white blood cells.

Hundreds Arrested as China Police Smash Child-Trafficking Ring [CNN]

Chinese police have busted two child-trafficking rings after a six-month nationwide investigation, rescuing 178 children and arresting 608 suspects, the country’s Ministry of Public Security announced this week.

Calling it “the biggest achievement since the launch of a national campaign against human trafficking,” the ministry described in detail the joint effort of police forces in ten provinces in statement posted on its official website.

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