TRIALS: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in May that a federal drug
law blocks medical pot use. The ruling doesn't necessarily affect
state initiatives that provide exceptions for HIVers to grow their
own pot, but buyers clubs will face new hurdles. Two states --
Nevada and Maine -- are considering going into the distribution
business to cut out the feds altogether.
The lawsuit against South Africa -- brought by 39 drug companies
that make, or own rights to, anti-HIV meds -- was dropped in
April, following a series of deals to slash prices and protect
patents were brokered with developing countries.
FUNDING: Tanqueray, the AIDS Ride USA's biggest sponsor since
1994, announced that it would drop support -- except a $200,000
grant in each city -- after this year's tour. The gin company
said it was making a shift in overall brand-marketing strategy.
WORLD BEAT: African heads of state who met in April pledged to
spend at least 15% of their annual budget on health care and
create a yearly $10 billion fund -- a "war chest," UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan called it -- to fight AIDS. President Bush
pledged to put $200 million in the pot, which many advocates
decried as far too little. In a speech at the African summit,
President Clinton said, "We have the money, all right, the
question is, do we have the will?"