AIDS Daily Summary, November 2, 1994

National AIDS Info Clearinghouse
Copyright 1994, Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD

AIDS Daily Summary
November 2, 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

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“‘Doe’ Case Is Warning, Experts Say”
“Across the USA: Tennessee”
“Killer T Cells Reported as a Potential Gene Therapy for Viral
Diseases and Cancer”
“Indonesia Says It Has 1,420 Confirmed HIV Cases”
“Zimbabwe Rejects Blanket AIDS Tests for Insurance”
“New England News Briefs: Needle-Wielding Man is Arrested”
“Heimlich Maneuvers to Cure AIDS”
“Red Cross Official Seen in Conflict”
“Again, Army Shuns AIDS Peer Review”
“Grassroots Organizing: Communication Groups”
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“‘Doe’ Case Is Warning, Experts Say”
Philadelphia Inquirer (11/02/94) P. B1; Slobodzian, Joseph A.;
Collins, Huntly
While many lawyers had hoped that the verdict in the “Scott Doe”
AIDS-discrimination case would provide a more definitive decision
on whether the federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
protects those with HIV or AIDS, legal experts say the case sends
a clear warning to employers that if they discriminate, they will
have to pay. The settlement has not been disclosed, but most
observers expect that Doe will receive at least $1 million. The
case was closely watched because it was the first suit involving
AIDS to be filed under the ADA and come to trial. One guidepost
for future AIDS-discrimination cases was Kohn Nast’s attempts to
have the case dismissed, contending that the ADA does not cover
people such as Doe, who are HIV-infected but not seriously ill.
In rejecting the arguments that Doe could work and was not
disabled, Judge Robert S. Gawthrop 3d wrote that the law defined
a disability as a physical or mental impairment that
substantially limits a person in one or more “major life
activities,” such as caring for oneself or working. Scott
Burris, an assistant professor at Temple University Law School
and counsel to the ACLU’s AIDS and Civil Liberties Project said
the case has deterrent value because it “reminds employers of the
pain and agony that they may be exposed to if they are accused of
discrimination.”

“Across the USA: Tennessee”
USA Today (11/02/94) P. 4A
The Dean of Vanderbilt University, K.C. Potter, has refused to
permit a campus group to distribute free condoms door-to-door in
dorms. The AIDS awareness plan, he said, would “invade the
private spaces of residents.” The Vanderbilt health department
supplies condoms free of charge.

“Killer T Cells Reported as a Potential Gene Therapy for Viral
Diseases and Cancer”
PRNewswire (11/01/94)
A team of researchers lead by Margo R. Roberts–director of cell
biology and immunology for Cell Genesys, Inc.–has developed
anti-HIV T cells that specifically and efficiently kill
HIV-infected cells in laboratory experiments. The findings,
which are reported in the Nov. 1 issue of the journal Blood,
describe the first successful laboratory experiments that
resulted in permanent genetic modification of killer T cells
specific for HIV. Killer T cells, or CD8+ lymphocytes–a
significant component of the immune system that is normally
responsible for eliminating virus-infected and tumor cells–were
engineered to produce the anti-HIV T cells. The National
Institutes of Health began the first human test of genetically
altered HIV-specific killer T cells in September in a Phase I/II
trial of anti-HIV T cell therapy for AIDS. Phase I safety
results are expected in late 1995. Previous studies have shown
that, in people with AIDS, the level of HIV-specific killer T
cells–which kill HIV-infected cells–decreases as they progress
to later phases of AIDS.

“Indonesia Says It Has 1,420 Confirmed HIV Cases”
Reuters (11/01/94)
Although the World Health Organization estimates that Indonesia
has 50,000 people who are HIV-infected, the country’s official
count of those who are infected as of Sept. 30 is 1,420. Cases
of HIV have been reported in all provinces of Indonesia except
the sparsely populated islands of East Nusa Tenggara. The ratio
of HIV cases was six men to one woman, while the ratio of AIDS
cases was 41 men to one woman. Women’s Affairs Minister Mien
Sugandhi reported in September that as of June there were 216
HIV-positive people, 56 of whom had developed AIDS.

“Zimbabwe Rejects Blanket AIDS Tests for Insurance”
Reuters (11/01/94)
The Zimbabwean government has rejected insurance companies’
recommendations that compulsory AIDS tests be given to people
taking life insurance policies of at least Z$50,000 (US $6,250).
“Compulsory testing would cause undue discrimination against
people infected with HIV,” said Health Minister Timothy Stamps.
The insurance industry had wanted to expand an existing law that
permits HIV testing for those buying life policies worth
Z$100,000.

“New England News Briefs: Needle-Wielding Man is Arrested”
Boston Globe (10/31/94) P. 41
Providence, R.I., police arrested a man last Thursday who
threatened to stab two women with a needle if they did not give
him their purses. The man claimed to have AIDS and pointed the
needle at the women after approaching them in a hotel parking
lot. It is not known whether the man had the disease.

“Heimlich Maneuvers to Cure AIDS”
Los Angeles Times (10/30/94) P. A1; Warrick, Pamela
Fueled by hundreds of thousands of dollars in celebrity
donations, Dr. Henry Heimlich–the inventor of the anti-choking
maneuver–is proposing to cure AIDS with “Induced Malaria
Therapy” (IMT). A similar therapy was used in the treatment of
neurosyphilis during the 1920s. IMT consists of inoculating
patients with blood that contains malaria parasites and then,
after 10 to 14 fevers spiking 106 degrees over three to four
weeks, administering anti-malaria medications. Heimlich’s
researchers have begun IMT on a small group of HIV-infected men
in China. The scientist generally uses humans in his trials
because he is philosophically opposed to animal research. Many
doubt the doctor’s work and note how over the last decade he has
proposed treatments for AIDS, cancer, Lyme disease, asthma, and
war. Out of concern for human subjects, a group of 20 scientists
and physicians from the United States and Mexico have petitioned
the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug
Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the
Internal Revenue Service to investigate Heimlich’s fund-raising
in Hollywood and his treatment of HIV. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention has issued a four-page public health alert
warning against the Heimlich Foundation’s proposal to use malaria
therapy on HIV.

“Red Cross Official Seen in Conflict”
Toronto Globe and Mail (10/29/94) P. A5; Coutts, Jane
Commission counsel Marlys Edwardh suggested Friday that there was
a potential conflict of interest when the medical director of the
Toronto blood bank also served as an advisor to the Canadian
Hemophilia Society. Documents submitted at the tainted-blood
inquiry show that in 1983, Dr. Roslyn Herst, as chairwoman of the
Hemophilia Society’s medical and scientific advisory committee,
was asked to write a letter to hemophiliacs about AIDS. At the
time, the Red Cross and the society disagreed on the safety of
cryoprecipitate and Factor VIII–two products used to help clot
blood. Dr. Herst sided with the Red Cross and told the
hemophiliacs that she preferred Factor VIII over cryoprecipitate,
which during the 1980s was considered safer. Factor VIII is made
by pooling thousands of blood donations–compared to only one or
two for cryoprecipitate–and is more likely to contain HIV. It
is now considered the safer product because it can be heat
treated to kill HIV. In response to the allegations, Dr. Herst
said that at the time a variety of products were available and
that it had been her job to inform hemophiliacs about them.

“Again, Army Shuns AIDS Peer Review”
Science (10/14/94) Vol. 266, No. 5183, P. 207
Last year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) criticized the Department of
Defense’s (DOD) plan to spend $20 million to test a therapeutic
AIDS vaccine manufactured by MicroGenesys Inc. instead of
peer-review research. DOD bowed to the pressure and promised to
spend the money on peer-review research. A total of $9.6 million
will fund AIDS vaccine research conducted by five research teams
whose proposals passed the Army’s peer review. Recently,
however, Army officials said that DOD would award $10.3 million
to the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of
Military Medicine, a private contractor in Maryland. Biochemist
John Moore of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and chair of
the Army’s peer-review committee said, “What the DOD does not
seem to have understood is that the fuss over the original $20
million was largely about an abuse of the peer-review system.”
The deputy director of the military’s AIDS research program said
that his command works well with the Jackson Foundation and that
the funds were awarded to prevent a potential shortfall in DOD’s
AIDS research budget for in the coming year.

“Grassroots Organizing: Communication Groups”
AIDS Treatment News (10/07/94) No. 208, P. 6; James, John S.
AIDS Treatment News proposes developing “communication
groups”–small, personal groups of friend who meet for social
activities that revolve around writing and calling public
officials to advance AIDS causes. The individual groups would
also work with other AIDS organizations to generate public
response on their issues. The social factor in the groups would
ensure that the groups work for the people, as well as a cause.
A five-page expanded proposal on “communication groups” is
available from AIDS Treatment News.

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