UN Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs,
with support from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA)
AIDS Daily Summary May 30, 1995 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 1995, Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD ************************************************************ "U.N. Seeks New Effort on AIDS" "Lifeline: Red Hot Franchise" "Helms Holds Up Anti-AIDS Funds" "Troops Infected with H.I.V. Facing Unexpected Fear of Losing Their Jobs" "Pentagon Shutting Down Major AIDS Research" "Hospital Cleaner's AIDS Death Was Murder--Lawyer" "A Time to Speak of AIDS" "AIDS Ministry Is Honored" "A Killing in Korea" "HIV an Illusion" ************************************************************ "U.N. Seeks New Effort on AIDS" Philadelphia Inquirer (05/30/95) P. A2; Nullis, Clare As approximately 6,000 people become infected with HIV each day, the United Nations (U.N.) is trying to restructure its battle against the epidemic. The organization's goal is to coordinate the work of six international agencies in one program, called UNAIDS, and present a united front against the disease. For years, the World Health Organization (WHO) led the international campaign. However, the WHO was criticized for doing too little at the grass-roots level and for focusing too narrowly on medical problems and vaccines. When other agencies moved to fill in the gaps, overlapping, confusion, and competition ensued. UNAIDS was designed to combine the WHO's Global Program on AIDS; the U.N. Children's Fund; the U.N. Population Fund; the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization; the U.N. Development Program; and the World Bank. Representatives from the six agencies will meet in June to fine-tune the program and approve its budget, which UNAIDS leader Peter Piot estimates will be $70 million per year for technical and support work. "Lifeline: Red Hot Franchise" USA Today (05/30/95) P. 1D; Briggs, Tracy Wong The Red Hot Organization is currently working on "Red, Hot + Bothered," a compilation of fringe rock bands geared toward Generation X. Among others, the project will feature Noise Addict, Licorice, and the Grifters. Thus far, the Red Hot Organization has raised more than $5 million for AIDS projects with its first five benefit albums. "Helms Holds Up Anti-AIDS Funds" Washington Times (05/29/95) P. A1; LaFountain, Marc Citing a study by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Sen. Jesse Helms is blocking reauthorization of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Emergency Resources (CARE) Act. The study examined federal spending and mortality rates for AIDS and other diseases. In March, the CRS released a study showing that AIDS was the ninth-most-common killer of Americans in 1991. The U.S. Public Health Service and the National Institutes of Health, however, spent more on AIDS treatment and research than on more common problems, such as cancer and heart disease. However, Richard Sorian, a spokesman for President Clinton's Office of National AIDS Policy, explained that the study does not give a complete picture of the situation. He noted that Medicare and Medicaid, for example, spend millions on patients with cancer and heart disease, and added that AIDS patients often do not have such coverage. "We don't believe that it is useful or correct to pit one disease against another," he said. "Troops Infected with H.I.V. Facing Unexpected Fear of Losing Their Jobs" New York Times (05/29/95) P. 10; Dunlap, David W. Across the country, HIV-infected military personnel are wondering how long the care that they had come to expect from the armed services will last. Approximately, 1,100 troops would be discharged from the military under a recent amendment to the defense budget--which the Department of Defense opposes--introduced by Rep. Robert K. Dornan (R-Calif.). Dornan says that the fact that HIV-infected troops may not serve overseas is a critical compromise of combat readiness. "During a time of drastically declining defense resources...we need each and every member of our military to be worldwide deployable," he says. Dornan has also argued that those with HIV impose a high cost, have to be kept close to military hospitals, and would be refused entry to many foreign countries. Opponents to the amendment, including Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), believe Dornan's true goal is to remove homosexuals from the military. On Wednesday, the House Committee on National Security voted 37 to 16 in favor of the measure. "Pentagon Shutting Down Major AIDS Research" Washington Post (05/27/95) P. A1; Gillis, Justin According to U.S. military planners, AIDS treatment research does not have a lot to do with military medicine's main objective--maintaining a fighting force. They have ordered cutbacks that will mean shutting down nine major studies, scaling back two others, and canceling plans for two new ones. Military researchers will be forced to significantly scale back one of the largest studies ever of the way HIV works in the body over time. In recent years, Congress has given the Pentagon more money that it asked for to conduct AIDS research. But now, with the new Congress, military planners are assuming that will not continue and are making plans for cutbacks. Scientists argue that a shutdown of the military's AIDS research would be a great loss in the effort to find a cure. They also note that the military population is unique because, as the personnel are regularly screened for HIV, the infection is detected earlier than in the civilian population. This has allowed military researchers to conduct an enormous study of the "natural history" of infection with HIV. Under current plans, the database military researchers have gathered would be maintained, but little new information would be added. "Hospital Cleaner's AIDS Death Was Murder--Lawyer" Reuters (05/29/95) On Monday, the attorney for an Argentine hospital cleaner who was unknowingly infected by the virus that causes AIDS at work, and fired without being informed he had HIV said he will request an investigation for murder. His client, Sergio Salguero, died at age 25 last Thursday--two years after he pricked himself with a contaminated needle while cleaning in the Hospital Muniz in Buenos Aires. Salguero was fired several months later after a blood test showed he was HIV-positive. He only learned his HIV status after his wife became pregnant. However, neither Salguero's wife nor his son, now eight months old, was infected. "A Time to Speak of AIDS" Washington Post (05/27/95) P. B7; Broadway, Bill Last week, approximately 200 people gathered at the Divinity School at Howard University to debate why the African American community does not talk about HIV, and to discuss how the black church can change its often negative attitude toward HIV-infected people. Both speakers and audience members expressed frustration that, historically, the black church has remained silent about human sexuality. AIDS, which is more often transmitted sexually, is a source of resentment in the African American community, they said. "Wrongly or not, most people in the black community have the idea that those with AIDS are [only] gay...and they're doing what they shouldn't have been doing anyway," said Kelly Brown Douglas, an associate professor at Howard's divinity school. To respond to the AIDS epidemic, the church must first learn to speak openly and provide spiritual guidance about sexual concerns, Douglas said. "AIDS Ministry Is Honored" Washington Post (05/27/95) P. B7 AIDS advocate Peter Lee has received the $100,000 Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership Program Award. Lee, director of the AIDS Ministry of the South Carolina Christian Action Council, manages AIDS care teams based in church congregations. A total of 500 volunteers in 40 churches spanning nine denominations provide support services such as food shopping and companionship. Lee said he would use the money to expand the program. "A Killing in Korea" Advocate (05/30/95) No. 682, P. 14 In Samchonpo, South Korea, a physical education teacher killed his daughter and tried to kill himself because he thought red spots on their skin were symptoms of AIDS. Hwa Yongmin, attempted to commit suicide by ingesting 78 sleeping pills after suffocating his four-year-old daughter. The man survived, tested negative for HIV, and was charged with murder. "HIV an Illusion" Nature (05/18/95) Vol. 375, No. 6528, P. 197; Duesberg, Peter; Bialy, Harvey In a letter to the editor published in the journal Nature, Peter Duesberg and Harvey Bialy respond to two recent papers on HIV-1 dynamics. The authors assert that the articles' central claim--that 100,000 HIV virions per ml of plasma can be detected in AIDS patients with various nucleic-acid assays--is misleading. The lead author of a paper by Wei et al. has previously stated that the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method they used overestimates by at least 60,000 times the real titre of infectious HIV. If that figure is divided into 100,000, the resulting 1.7 infectious HIVs per ml is hardly the "virological mayhem" to which Wain-Hobson alluded in another issue of Nature. Ho and another group of researchers have also recently demonstrated that more than 10,000 "plasma virions" correspond to less than one infectious virus per ml. Finally, Loveday et al. found only 200 HIV "virion RNAs" per ml of serum from AIDS patients. This is 1,000 times less than Ho and Wei, the authors conclude.