UN Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs,
with support from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA)

97/03/04: AIDS Daily Summary

                     AIDS Daily Summary 

                       March 4, 1997


The CDC National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention makes 

available the following information as a public service only. 

Providing this information does not constitute endorsement by the 

CDC. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may 

not be sold, and the CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse should be 

cited as the source of this information. Copyright 1996, 

Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD



"Unit Gets FDA Approval for Genital-Warts Therapy" 

"Researchers Say Drug Helps AIDS Patients Live Longer" 

"Facing the Questions of Medical Marijuana"

"A Trek Across U.S. to Help AIDS Children" 

"'Morning After' Pill for AIDS"

"Revocation of Needle-Exchange Ban in U.S. Called Urgent Public 

Health Priority"

"Marijuana Advocates Say San Jose, Calif. Club Will Still Open" 

"Hodgkin's Disease May Be an AIDS-Defining Illness"

"AIDS and the British Healthcare System" 

"Taking Control"



"Unit Gets FDA Approval for Genital-Warts Therapy" 

Wall Street Journal (03/04/97) P. B4

     A division of Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing has been

given clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to market a 

treatment for genital warts, a sexually transmitted disease.  The 

company said that Aldara (imiquimod) offers some advantages over 

most current treatments, although no cure for the condition is 

available.  Genital warts often go into remission and reappear 

years later.  Approximately 750,000 new cases of the highly 

contagious viral disease occur in the United States each year.


"Researchers Say Drug Helps AIDS Patients Live Longer" 

Baltimore Sun (03/04/97) P. 2A

     A drug used to treat overdoses of the pain reliever

acetaminophen may help AIDS patients live longer, Stanford 

University researchers report in the Journal of the National 

Academy of Sciences.  The researchers found that patients treated 

with N-acetylcysteine, or NAC, survived longer than those who did 

not receive the drug.


"Facing the Questions of Medical Marijuana" 

Miami Herald (03/03/97) P. 1A; Smith, Stephen

     As the national debate over the medical use of marijuana 

continues, eight people across the country are receiving 300 

joints a month as part of a federal program.  Cancer patient Irvin 

Rosenfeld of Boca Raton, FL, is one of the eight and says he feels 

that "without the marijuana, I would be dead.  And I'm still a 

good and productive member of society."  The federal government 

has opposed state initiatives to legalize marijuana for medical 

use--a policy that has been criticized by the New England Journal 

of Medicine, which called federal prohibitions "misguided, 

heavy-handed, and inhumane."  A synthetic form of THC, the major 

active ingredient in marijuana, has been found to be beneficial 

for patients with AIDS and cancer.  Although THC is available as 

the medicine Marinol, advocates of medical marijuana say that 

smoked marijuana is more effective.


"A Trek Across U.S. to Help AIDS Children"

Houston Chronicle (03/03/97) P. 13A; Milling, T.J.

     Louie Rochon, 43, is undertaking a cross-country walk to

benefit the Children with AIDS Project, a charity he chose after 

hearing several stories of children who were discriminated 

against because they were HIV-positive.  "Every kid, even if 

they're going to die, deserves a loving home," he said.  Rochon, 

who started the walk in Miami on Sept. 16, is now 1,200 miles 

into the 5,200-mile trek, which will end in Seattle.  Rochon said 

he decided to make the journey "because I was asking myself, 

'What's the meaning of life? Can one man make a difference?'"


"'Morning After' Pill for AIDS"

United Press International (03/03/97); Wasowicz, Lidia

     A study to test the efficacy of "morning-after" drug therapy

for people who are accidentally exposed to HIV is slated to begin 

soon in San Francisco.  As part of the trial, researchers at the 

San Francisco General Hospital will recruit individuals exposed 

to HIV as the result of one incident of risky behavior.  The 

study participants will receive a 30-day supply of AZT and 3TC, 

with the hope that the treatment may prevent the virus from 

taking hold.  HIV prevention advocates warn that the therapy 

could reverse the trend toward safe behaviors, but researchers 

say the strategy is worthwhile.  Studies of similar preventive 

therapy for health care workers who are accidentally exposed to 

HIV on the job have shown that the drugs dramatically reduce the 

risk of infection.


"Revocation of Needle-Exchange Ban in U.S. Called Urgent Public 

Health Priority"

Reuters (03/03/97)

     Nearly 10,000 HIV infections in the United States could have

been prevented between 1987 and 1995 if needle exchange programs 

had been established, report Drs. Peter Lurie and Ernest Drucker 

in this week's issue of the Lancet.  Lurie, of the University of 

California at San Francisco, and Drucker, of Montefiore in the 

Bronx, estimate that between 4,394 and 9,666 preventable HIV 

infections occurred during this time period and that 88 percent 

of these infections were tied to injection drug users.  The 

researchers also estimated that the U.S. health care system would 

spend between $244 million and $538 million on the infected 

individuals.  They say that if the ban on the use of federal 

funds for needle exchanges is not lifted by 2000, the number of 

new preventable HIV infections will reach between 5,150 and 



"Marijuana Advocates Say San Jose, Calif., Club Will Still Open" 

Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News (03/03/97); Mercado, Tony

     A proposed cannabis buyers' club will open in San Jose,

CA, and has received a $5,000 donation from a member of the San 

Francisco club, according to activists Peter Baez and Jesse 

Garcia.  The money will be used to purchase a computer and photo 

identification camera to keep clients on file.  The donor 

reportedly has AIDS and has had to travel to Santa Cruz to get 

marijuana.  Baez and Garcia discounted recent reports that the 

owner of the building where the club is to be located has 

withdrawn his offer to have marijuana legally sold out of his 



"Hodgkin's Disease May Be an AIDS-Defining Illness" 

Reuters (03/03/97)

     Italian researchers have reported findings that support U.S.

studies suggesting that an excess incidence of Kaposi's sarcoma 

and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas is found in HIV patients.  The 

Italian study also revealed that HIV-positive patients have a 

higher incidence of Hodgkin's disease compared with the general 

population.  Dr. Diego Serraino of Aviano and colleagues reported 

that Hodgkin's disease was 38 times more frequent in HIV 

patients.  As a result, Serraino said that the "question [of 

whether the disease should at least be considered for the list of 

AIDS-defining illnesses] deserves serious attention."


"AIDS and the British Healthcare System"

Journal of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS 

Care (02/97) Vol. 3, No. 2, P. 34; Youle, Mike

     A variety of competing health-related pressures in the

United Kingdom indicate that the country's response to the AIDS 

epidemic appears threatened and may not be adequate to implement 

new advances in treatment, according to Mike Youle, associate 

specialist and clinical trials coordinator in HIV medicine at the 

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London.  The UK budget for 

AIDS treatment in 1997-1998 has been increased by 7.7 percent, 

after being cut by 8 percent in 1996.  The UK has one of Europe's 

least serious AIDS epidemics, possibly due to the success of 

early prevention efforts in the gay community and the 

introduction of needle exchange programs in 1987.  The British 

National Health Service is also credited with establishing a 

network of clinics and specialist services for gay men, which 

developed into HIV clinics.  These centers bridge the gap between 

primary and secondary HIV prevention, and focus on sexually 

transmitted disease prevention and treatment for HIV patients.  

However, these centers have also led to the localization of 

funding and treatment standards, which may contribute to the low 

level of antiretroviral use.  Moreover, UK hospitals are 

increasingly being faced with HIV-infected Africans and Asians, 

challenging facilities that have largely treated gay men in the 

past. Because of the ease with which EU nationals can obtain 

treatment in the country, people diagnosed in Great Britain are 

significantly less likely to go back to their home countries for 

care.  Other potential problems, Youle notes, are the lack of 

widespread HIV testing in the United Kingdom, as compared to the 

United States and Australia, and what some claim to be a culture 

of dependency created by the British health and welfare system.


"Taking Control"

Emerge (03/97) Vol. 8, No. 5, P. 57; Norris, Michele L.

     Rae Lewis-Thornton, an African American spokeswoman for HIV

prevention, says she decided to talk publicly about her disease, 

after living with HIV for 10 years, because she wanted to help 

eliminate the shame and stigma surrounding AIDS.  Lewis-Thornton 

has relied on success throughout her life to deal with pain--the 

abuse she suffered at home, the rape she suffered in college, and 

now, the effects of AIDS.  Despite setbacks, she went on to earn 

a college degree and was hired to work for Jesse Jackson's 1984 

and 1988 presidential campaigns and for Carol Moseley-Braun's 

senatorial campaign.  However, bouts of pneumonia for which she 

has been hospitalized have forced her to face the pain of AIDS.  

Her husband of two years, Kenny Thornton, has helped her remain 

active as much as possible, quitting his job to care for 

Lewis-Thornton and manage her speaking schedule.  When speaking 

to audiences, Lewis-Thornton uses her polished good looks to 

capture her audience's attention, then exposes them to the darker 

images of AIDS--the herpes, hemorrhoids, depression, and fatigue. 

"People need to hear the crudeness of AIDS," she says, "I don't 

want people to become deceived ... I want people walking away 

saying, 'I don't ever want to get AIDS.'"

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