Guerrilla Drug Trials: The Underground Test Of Compound Q

Desperate activists try to speed up the discovery of a cure for AIDS

Bob Barnett sits on an examination table in San Francisco while an intravenous needle drips an experimental AIDS drug into his veins. The drug, called Compound Q, is a purified protein extracted from a cucumber-like Chinese plant and one of the latest promising glimmers in the search for a cure for AIDS.

Across town, researchers at San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center are conducting cautious, federally approved Phase 1 toxicity trials with minute dosages of GLQ223, as Compound Q is officially known. But for Barnett, a 37-year-old former radio sales manager, as for thousands of others afflicted with AIDS, precious time...

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