No, coronavirus patient in China not ‘cured’ with HIV drugs

“Doctors cure coronavirus patient using HIV wonder drugs in China,” claims a 29 January 2020 article on the website Nigeria Newspaper that’s been shared on Facebook and other sites.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. An outbreak of a new strain, known as “novel coronavirus”, was identified in China in late December 2019.

According to the World Health Organization’s 3 February 2020 update on the outbreak, 17,391 cases of novel coronavirus have been confirmed, 17,238 of them in China. There have been 361 deaths in China, and one in the Philippines.

But has a coronavirus patient in China been “cured” with “HIV wonder drugs”?

‘Chinese authorities confirm news’

“Doctors in China are claiming to have cured a patient suffering from the Wuhan coronavirus using a HIV wonder drug,” the article says.

“Beijing municipal health commission confirmed the use of the HIV drugs to treat patients suffering from the Wuhan coronavirus.”

And doctors in Thailand are reported to have treated a patient with a combination of antiviral drugs and flu medication.

Certain HIV drugs used to treat pneumonia

We found no evidence that a patient infected with coronavirus was cured with HIV drugs.

And the World Health Organization has not reported the news on its website or in its most recent coronavirus update.

It was reported on 26 January, however, that China was in some cases using certain HIV drugs to treat pneumonia caused by novel coronavirus, while the global search for an actual cure continues. – Motunrayo Joel


For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

You’ve posted an image, a video, a statement or a link to an article on Facebook or Instagram. And a fact-checker has rated it “false”, “partly false” or “false headline”.

This could mean fewer people will see your page. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide below for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check has partnered with Facebook to combat fake news and false information on the social platform. This fact-check is part of the initiative.

As part of its third-party fact-checking programme, Facebook allows its partners to see public articles, pictures or videos that have been flagged as potentially inaccurate.

Content rated as “false” by fact-checkers will be downgraded in news feeds. This means fewer people will see it.

You can help us identify fake news and false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

© Copyright Africa Check 2020. Read our republishing guidelines. You may reproduce this piece or content from it for the purpose of reporting and/or discussing news and current events. This is subject to: Crediting Africa Check in the byline, keeping all hyperlinks to the sources used and adding this sentence at the end of your publication: “This report was written by Africa Check, a non-partisan fact-checking organisation. View the original piece on their website", with a link back to this page.