Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 1, 1988)
Between the lines
AIDS pamphlets and politics ; paying for AZJ;
prescription from Abby.
states that anal sex is the most dangerous activity
associated with the disease.
Most health experts agree that AIDS cannot
Candidate for governor defends
be contracted by casual contact, and intra
venous drug use has replaced homosexual
as the major concern regarding spread
tate Rep. Bob Williams of Longview, a
o f the disease.
Republican gubernatorial candidate in
Dr. Pat Kuhlberg. health officer of the
Washington, is coming under heavy fire from
Health District, says “ the
health experts for an AIDS pamphlet he mailed
pamphlet raises a lot o f fears that are unneces
to K).(XX) households in his Cowlitz County
sary . . . the gay population is making behavioral
to reduce their risk.”
W illiams’s mailing was part of a state-wide
In a letter to the Longview Daily News, Rep.
campaign by state legislators to provide uniform
Williams said he is not trying to pick on homo
information about AIDS to households and
sexuals. But he claims in his pamphlet that
homosexual behavior is “ responsible for 94
But health experts say the 2 1 -page pamphlet,
percent of AIDS cases in W ashington" and
“ AIDS! Common Sense Information." con
states that “ we need to prevent that behavior”
tains half-truths and is confusing, misleading
in order to stop AIDS.
and potentially frightening to readers.
Williams says those who inferred that he was
The pamphlet, which Williams embellished
calling for a ban on homosexual activity were
with lots of exclamation points, suggests that
wrong; he insists that he is not calling for gays to
AIDS can be transferred by casual contact and
other methods besides bltxxl and semen, and
J A C K
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S IO R IfR O N T I H I A I R I S "A X C R V M O d S IW IV tS "
U H O I H I A l l R P R iM X I S 1 O R I AM M A X "
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HU SIC Al AND T H fA TR IC A l THFHF GIFTS PI ANTS
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A O X I MAN SHOW FROM I A . M A R I H I I , 12
H O W 1RS FOR A U OCCASIONS
S ilk ARRANCFHFNTS CARDS
Three hundred thousand copies of the
pamphlet were printed, and some legislators
added cover letters clarifying their positions on
the issue. Rep. Steve Fuhrman of Kettle Falls
mailed the brochure and enclosed a letter
calling for a ban on homosexual activity.
Meanwhile, Michael Brady, a lawyer and the
president of the Dorian Society (a gay rights
organization) in Seattle, says he was shocked
by the tone, as well as by the distortions in the
pamphlet. “ I still can’t believe it was edited by
doctors," he said.
Wilt the state pay for AZT
xpensive AZT treatments, at $7,000 a year
per patient, are one of the more effective
means of prolonging the lives of those who
Deciding who pays, if anyone, is one of the
major issues Washington state lawmakers soon
Some legislators say the state should help to
pay for the treatments; other members disagree,
saying it would be unfair to patients of other
Dr. King Holmes, chief of medicine at
Harborview Hospital in Seattle and a member
o f the Governor’s Task Force on AIDS, says
there are as many as 30,000 patients in the state
who could benefit from AZT.
In state hearings in Olympia recently.
Dr. Roger Butz, Safeco Insurance Co. medical
director, said he would oppose any state move
to cover AZT treatment costs. He fears unequal
treatment o f those suffering other diseases who
may face medical cutbacks to help pay for AZT.
The Governor's Task Force on AIDS will be
bringing up other issues to state lawmakers in
future hearings, including confidentiality of rec
ords, regulations for the sale of cards that
purport to show that individuals do not have
AIDS, and problems of discrimination for
people who test positive for the disease.
Dear Abby worth repeating
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yndicated columnist Abigail Van Burén has
generally supported gays in her Dear Abby
column published in newspapers across the
In a recent column, she had a few appropriate
words for a miserable married homosexual with
"A re there other homosexuals who have
given in to marriage and are miserable, or am I
all alone?" asked a fellow who signed his letter
"M y Secret."
“ Dear Secret: You are not alone. You have
far more company than you (or anyone else)
would ever imagine. I have a message for you
— and for all the others who are in the same
boat: to thine own self be true
“ You did not chtxise to be gay any more than
I chose to be straight. .. and w hether you act on
your feelings or not. you are a homosexual. The
tragedy is your unwillingness to accept yourself
— and in an effort to ‘protect’ yourself, you
involved a woman in your life. She’s unfulfilled
and so are you."
Abby suggested he get a divorce to “ free
both o f you."
Cashing in on fear of AIDS
anuarv was National Volunteer Blood
Donor Month in America— an appropriate
time for enterpreneurs to take advantage of the
public fear of AIDS in order to make a few
In Anchorage. Alaskans are ignoring the fact
that the odds o f getting AIDS from a blood
transfusion range from one in 220,000 to one in
a million. Some of them are taking part in the
Blood Bank of Alaska’s new “ directed dona
That’s where you find people who will
donate blood in your name for your exclusive
use Supposedly the risk of getting AIDS is
lessened if one knows the donor pool.
Another commercial service in Anchorage
offers storage o f self-donated blood in the
Alaska Autologous Blood Bank — for a fee, of
Former real-estate developer Mike Mitchell
says his private bank can store frozen blood for
as long as seven years at a cost o f $ 1 ,500. The
sales pitch is that “ no blood is as good as your
Before you start gathering up some friends
and heading for the nearest blood bank, or start
a "savings account" o f your own, consider
Donated blood from personal recruits is no
safer than blood from anonymous volunteers.
The real risk in transfusions is hepatitis, not
According to Dr. Richard Counts o f the
Puget Sound Blood Bank in Seattle, the AIDS
risk has been virtually eliminated since 1985
with development o f a highly sensitive test for
Nationwide, anywhere from 7 to 12 percent
o f transfusions pass on a form of hepatitis.
T hat’s where the real risk remains.
AIDS: Top 1988 political issue
hen Americans go to the polls in 1988,
their greatest concern will be a
candidate’s position on stopping the spread of
AIDS, according to a recent survey conducted
for the Independent Insurance Agents of
According to the poll, conducted by the
Herman Group of Research Triangle Park,
N .C ., and reported in the Jan. 4 edition of
Industry Week , the issue o f least concern to the
public in ranking 21 potential concerns was
the state o f the stock market.
A medical Pearl Harbor?
ome doctors, claiming that their
“ Hippocratic Oath was not to become a
kamikaze pilot.” are asking their patients to be
tested for AIDS before surgery.
The Gannett News Service reports that a
growing number of doctors fear becoming
infected with the deadly virus and also cites
evidence that those who carry the AIDS virus
may not fare well in certain surgical procedures.
One study of eight infected patients who
underwent open heart surgery suggests that the
operation itself may have triggered the develop
ment o f full-blown AIDS. All eight died within
That finding has led San Francisco heart sur
geon Dr. Donald Hill to recommend that “ most
people be tested for AIDS if they are to undergo
open heart surgery.” Nearly 400.000 such pro
cedures are performed each year in the United
Hill, a heart transplant surgeon and head of
cardiovascular surgery at Pacific Medical
Center, now asks all patients in his department
to be tested for HIV.
So far. less than five percent have refused
to be tested.
To find out just what risk doctors are facing,
the Centers for Disease Control will soon
launch a large study involving doctors
" It is well known that open heart surgery is
an immunosuppressive event.” explains San
Francisco’s Hill. A patient's blood is rerouted
through a heart-lung machine and comes into
contact with foreign surfaces which reduce the
blood's immunity-providing powers. Transfu
sions, too, can reduce a person’s immunity.
If surgery can be postponed, or alternative
therapies used successfully, a number of promi
nent surgeons agree that doctors should con
sider those possibilities.
Says Dr. Hill: “ If I have a patient I know is
HIV positive. I would say to him, ‘Look,
there’s some undefined risk that the operation
may trigger you into AIDS. If we can reason
ably put o ff your surgery for six months, let’s do
it! We may know more then about how to deal