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94/05/12: AIDS Daily Summary

                     AIDS Daily Summary 

                        May 12, 1994

 

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National AIDS

Clearinghouse makes available the following information as a public

service only. Providing this information does not constitute endorsement

by the CDC, the CDC Clearinghouse, or any other organization. Reproduction

of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC

Clearinghouse should be cited as the source of this information.

Copyright 1994, Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD

 

 

"AIDS Researchers Seek Redirection of Efforts Toward Learning 

Basics of the Disease"

New York Times (05/12/94) P. A20;  Kolata, Gina

     Top scientists from around the country are forming a new 

consensus that America's $1.3 billion AIDS research program is on

the wrong track and in need of redirection.  Dr. Bernard Fields, 

chairman of the department of microbiology and molecular genetics

at Harvard Medical School, has drafted a blueprint for change 

that advocates a broadened definition of AIDS research.  The hope

is that a broader look at the disease could bring a new 

understanding to the disease process.  In the first decade, 

writes Fields, government's main approach to research was to 

"isolate the virus, develop a vaccine, and prevent the virus"--a 

straightforward approach that was successful in combating polio. 

Quick testing of potential AIDS drugs and vaccines, however, 

yielded only widespread frustrations and a growing sense that 

AIDS was much more complicated than scientists first suspected.  

Now, Fields says, the focus should be placed on understanding the

basic biology of HIV and AIDS.  How the virus enters the cell, 

for example, is still a mystery.  Many other leading researchers,

including Dr. Harold Varmus, director of the National Institutes 

of Health, and Dr. William Paul, the newly appointed head of the 

Office of AIDS Research, say they endorse Fields' comments.  

Federal AIDS administrators say they expect to make some changes 

according to Fields' suggestions.

      

"10-Year Sentence for Spreading AIDS"

Washington Post (05/12/94) P. B6

     A Petersburg, Va., court yesterday handed down a 10-year prison 

sentence to a man who had unprotected sexual intercourse with 

three teenage girls without informing them of his HIV-positive 

status.  Johnny M. Webb, 28, pleaded no contest to sodomy, 

statutory rape, indecent liberties, and two counts of attempted 

murder.  According to Petersburg Commonwealth's Attorney 

Cassandra S. Burns, he is the first person to be prosecuted in 

the state for spreading HIV.  Burns said she recommended no more 

than 10 years of prison time for Webb because he was already 

exhibiting symptoms of AIDS during his February trial.  Two of 

the girls that Webb had sex with have tested positive for HIV.  

Related Story: USA Today (05/12) P. 7A.

      

"Aging--AIDS"

Associated Press (05/12/94);  Martinez, James

     Instances AIDS among people aged 50 and older account for 10 

percent of the national tally of AIDS cases, reports the Centers 

for Disease Control and Prevention.  While the number of new AIDS

cases among younger people has been steadily declining, they are 

on the upswing among older Americans.  According to Dr. William 

Adler of the National Institutes of Health, this trend can be 

partially attributed to the fact that older gays in particular 

have not embraced safe sex and have not modified their behavior 

patterns.  With most AIDS education efforts still targeting young

people, this trend is likely to continue, he says.  Ann Prochilo,

director of educational services for the Health Crisis Network in

Miami, agrees.  "They are a segment of the population that hasn't

identified with the crisis," she says.  "Just like it took time 

for heterosexuals to realize it's not just gays and drug users 

who can get it, it will take time for older people to realize 

they can get it, too."  She notes that only now are support 

groups, education campaigns, and other social services beginning 

to target older people.  The American Association of Retired 

Persons has begun its own campaign, through which it compiles 

AIDS information for its members, and is in the process of making

an educational video.  "There seems to be an otherness factor to 

this disease across the board," says the AARP's Judy Fink.  "We 

need to realize this as an international crisis."

      

"Julio & Marisol: AIDS Drama Unfolds"

United Press International (05/11/94);  Connor, Tracy

     Officials at the New York City Health Department have released 

the much-anticipated sixth and seventh episodes of "Decision," a 

innovative and popular comic strip about AIDS awareness that 

debuted in the city's subways four years ago.  The latest 

installments continue the saga of Julio and Marisol, two 

estranged young lovers who clashed over safe-sex precautions.  In

the couple's first appearance in May 1990, Julio storms out of 

Marisol's apartment after she refuses to have sex without a 

condom.  In subsequent strips, the pair discovers that one friend

has died of AIDS and another friend, Raul, is dying.  In the last

episode, earlier this year, Julio and Marisol reconcile after 

meeting in Raul's hospital room, and a new character, Rosa, 

confesses to Raul that she has HIV.  The newest installments, 

which were released Wednesday, reveal that Rosa is actually an 

ex-girlfriend of Julio's who is ashamed to tell him about her HIV

status.  According to Health Department spokesman Steve Matthews,

it takes three to four months to create and execute new episodes 

for the soap-opera-style strip.  He says the department welcomes 

ideas from the public and will continue to put out the strip as 

long as they see interest.  "The company that handles advertising

for the [subway system] tells us they know the episodes are 

popular because they're stolen in great numbers," says Matthews. 

He adds that the pictorial novellas, originally targeted at 

Latinos, have been translated into English by popular demand.

      

"Chicago Tattoo Artist Calls Proposal to Require License 

"Nonsensical""

Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News (05/09/94);  Krol, Eric

     Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 

that there are no documented cases of AIDS being transmitted 

through tattooing, a Illinois proposal that would require 

tattooists to be licensed and comply with safety standards is 

winding its way through the legislative process.  The bill would 

require tattooists to pay a $200 licensing fee and adhere to 

cleanliness and sterilization guidelines.  Doctors, alarmed by 

the potential spread of AIDS and hepatitis through dirty needles,

feel regulation of the tattoo industry is long overdue. But North

Side tattoo artist "Mad" Jack Kaplan, who has been in the 

business for 15 years, calls the proposal "nonsensical," and says

it is based on ignorance of the trade.  He says that, in his 

parlor, tattoo artists wear latex gloves at all times and conduct

the entire process using sterilized needles kept in plain view.  

Mick Beasley, president of the Alliance of Professional 

Tattoists, claims the state standards for cleanliness and 

sterilization are inadequate.  Her group uses an oven-like 

steam-pressure device known as an autoclave to sterilize 

instruments and kill bacteria.  The state's guidelines, which 

would require only dry heat sterilization, would be ineffective 

against bacteria, she says.

      

"Catholic Charities Announces Three New Contracts"

Business Wire (05/09/94)

     Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Francisco has 

presented two new services in San Mateo County for AIDS patients.

One is a six-bed residential AIDS program; the other is a service

to provide food and emergency funding for people living with 

AIDS.  The contracts were made possible through the federal 

government's Ryan White CARE Act.  "Catholic Charities is 

committed to serving those in need during the HIV/AIDS epidemic,"

says Bob Nelson, director of AIDS services.  "We are proud of our

track record in helping this population and are committed to 

reaching all people in need without discrimination on any basis."

      

"Medical Briefs: Life Quality With AZT Studied"

Advocate (05/03/94) No. 654, P. 33

     Among patients who take AZT, the reduction in the quality of life

caused by severe side effects is equally balanced with the 

improved quality of life associated with delayed disease 

progression, according to a recent study of 1,338 patients 

enrolled in a clinical trial of the drug.  The results of the 

study calculate the average time in which neither a progression 

of disease nor an adverse event occurred was 15.7 months for 

patients receiving a placebo, 15.6 months for patients receiving 

500 mg of AZT, and 14.8 months for patients receiving 1,500 mg of

AZT.  Adverse events were identified either as symptoms or 

abnormal laboratory findings.  After 18 months, the group 

receiving 500 mg of AZT gained an average of half a month without

disease progression in comparison to the placebo group.

      

"With More Businesses Having to Accommodate HIV-Positive 

Employees, Companies Need Guidelines to Address Federal 

Disability Laws and Privacy Rights"

National Law Journal (05/09/94) Vol. 16, No. 36, P. B5;  Klein, 

Jeffrey S.;  Baer, Lawrence J.

     Two-thirds of companies with 2,500 to 5,000 employees and 1 in 12

businesses with 500 or fewer employees say they have had at least

one HIV-infected individual on their payroll.  These statistics 

emphasize the importance of every company having an employment 

policy that includes guidelines for the treatment of HIV-positive

employees.  Such guidelines are necessary to ensure that infected

employees are protected in accordance with applicable laws--such 

as the Americans With Disabilities Act--and that the company's 

liability in relation to HIV-related claims is minimal.  At the 

very least, firms should develop policies to address the 

requirements of the Medical Leave Act, the Occupational Safety 

and Health Acts, and the ADA--which requires employers to 

reasonably accommodate an HIV-infected employee.  The only 

exceptions occur if such an accommodation would result in "undue 

hardship" to the employer or a "direct threat" to the health or 

safety of the employee or others in the workplace.  A number of 

recent cases, however, have made it clear that an irrational fear

of infection, unsupported by scientific fact, will not be 

considered a direct threat under the ADA.

      




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