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AIDS WEEKLY PLUS. 1999 Jul 12-19; 7.AIDS-related mortality has declined significantly since the mid-1990s, although the rate of new infections has remained steady. While recent data indicate that fewer teenagers are having sex and more are using condoms, 20% of AIDS cases in Massachusetts are young adults who were probably infected as teens. There is now a rebirth of denial and considerable complacency about the reality of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Part of that complacency stems from the development and use of protease inhibitors since 1996, a class of drugs capable of extending the lives of people infected with HIV. The initial success rates of these drugs have led many people to believe that AIDS is no longer life-threatening, but rather manageable over the long term. However, these drugs are complex and there is much misinformation about their success rates. The effectiveness of protease inhibitors has been short-lived in many patients, and sometimes ineffective in people who could not adhere to the strict drug regimen. Thousands of people participated in AIDS Action Committee's 14th annual AIDS Walk to raise awareness and pay tribute to those who have been affected by the disease.
Lancet. 1996 Jun 15; 347(9016):1688.Professor Arthur Obel, a Kenyan scientist who claims to have found the cure for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), through treatment with either of two drugs (Kemron and Pearl Omega) is being sued by patients upon whom Kemron was tested, and Pearl Omega has been banned by the Kenyan Ministry of Health. The backlog of cases in the Kenyan judicial system will allow Obel to avoid answering questions about Kemron, which was launched as an AIDS cure in 1993, while the case is coming to court. Obel then announced in a book, which was published in March, that Pearl Omega had converted the positive serostatus for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) of seven patients. The Kenyan government had initially supported further clinical trials of Pearl Omega, which was announced to parliament by Assistant Health Minister Basil Criticos on April 24. A week later, Health Minister Joshua Angatia denounced Pearl Omega as an herbal concoction and stated that Obel had "bent the rules." Philip Mbithi, an old schoolfriend of Obel and former Chief Secretary in the Office of the President, is thought to have secured extensive research funds for Obel, who had compared himself to historical figures who had made important discoveries that were initially greeted with skepticism. Obel's reputation with the public is far from discredited. He was cheered during a lecture at Kenyatta University in Nairobi when he offered to donate Pearl Omega to the campus; in the same talk, he said that condoms imported from Europe were infected with HIV, a statement the government has yet to condemn.