Shop Owner Charged Over AIDS Drug Claim

An herbal medicine shop own­er who claims his drugs can cure AIDS was charged with violating a law that forbids the advertisement of supposed “cures” for the killer disease, a court official said.

Tuk Dara, whose advertisements for the miracle drug have run almost daily the past three months in the Kampu­chea Thmei Daily newspaper, was charged Monday with advertising fake medicine, Phnom Penh Municipal Court Chief Prose­cu­tor Uk Savuth said Tuesday.

An investigating judge will de­termine whether Tuk Dara should be arrested or his shop closed, Uk Savuth said.

The $20 five-day treatment cures “90 percent” of a patient’s AIDS, Tuk Dara said Tuesday, though patients still test positive for the disease after treatment. He claimed the drug cured him of HIV. “The court can come and test the medicine [to determine] wheth­er it is fake or not,” he said.

“I don’t cheat people.”

Health officials disagree.

“The court should close the shop and punish him according to the law,” said Ly Po, deputy di­rec­tor of the National AIDS Au­thority.

Kampuchea Thmei Daily was ordered to pull Tuk Dara’s advertisements last week, said Thieng Vandarong, deputy director-general of the Information Ministry’s audio and visual department.


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