Trending News Today: Lack of Needle Exchange Programs Increases Risk of HIV Spread

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Sanofi SA received its first set of drug compounds from its partnership with a Harvard University scientist and his venture backers, Warp Drive Bio, The Wall Street Journal reported. This collaboration aims to speed up drug development and jumpstart the discovery of new medicines, according to the Journal. Warp Drive Bio reported that it delivered a few dozen compounds to Sanofi, which they hope can be turned into antibiotics to fight drug-resistant infections.

A lack of needle exchange programs for injection drug users in white rural communities has put this population at a greater risk of new HIV infections than ever before, The Washington Post reported. In a newly released report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), authorities found that although the use of these programs have increased substantially over the past decade, most injection drug users are still not always using sterile needles. As a result, decades of progress in reducing the spread of HIV through dirty needles is being threatened, and individuals who would not have been considered at risk are now vulnerable, the Post reported. The federal report found that white people living in predominantly rural areas of the United States, including Appalachia, rural parts of New England, and the Ozarks, are particularly vulnerable.

The DEA has added furanyl fentanyl, the deadly cousin of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, to its most restrictive list of controlled substances, according to The Wall Street Journal. This ban is a result of the DEA’s efforts to stop the growing market for synthetic opioids, including several fentanyl analogues and relics from old pharmaceutical research, such as the chemical U-47700, the Journal reported.