June #48 : Frogs Out of Hot Water - by Gabi Horn

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Table of Contents


Beyond Condoms: Introduction

Beyond Condoms

Beyond Condoms: Life After Latex

Ouch! Stop the Pain

Catching Up With . . . Jim Howley

Drag King

Queen of Hearts


To the Editor

Hypodermic Hysteria


POZarazzi: Party Poop

Frogs Out of Hot Water

Clip 'n' Save

Swing Vote

Think Stink

"WeHo" Heave Ho

Little Rocked

Say What


Patriot Games

Policy Permutations

Ghost Reader

Show & Tell

Rescue 3-8-7

Dose Encounters

Nurse a Grudge

A Bum Rap

Where There’s Smoke...

Feelin' No Pain

Tranny Time

Where to Find It

Get Over It

Volunteers Wanted

Not Your Typical Tearjerker

Displace Dysplasia

Prevention Extension

Posterboy Always Rings Twice

Sense and Sinsemilla

POZ Picks

Aunt Evelyn's Letters

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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June 1999

Frogs Out of Hot Water

by Gabi Horn

Top Frenchies won't fry in blood debacle

“Je ne sais quoi” said the French blood trade in 1985, and politicians still buck responsibility for the 4,400 people infected through tainted transfusions.
March saw the acquittal of three former top French officials—Prime Minister Laurent Fabius, Social Affairs Minister Georgina Dufoix and Health Minister Edmond Hervé—on charges of criminal negligence and manslaughter. They had been accused of delaying the use of a U.S. blood-screening test in order to give a French company time to develop its own. Abbott Labs’ test became available in March 1985, but it wasn’t until August of that year that France started screening donors using a test by Diagnostics Pasteur.
Fabius, now speaker of the parliament, said he “was not responsible for the decision to block the Abbott test,” and he “was being attacked on the basis of scientific knowledge that was not clear in 1985.” Luc Montagnier and other members of the French research team that isolated HIV were called to the stand, but their conflicting views about what and when the government knew about AIDS only added fireworks to the trial. The court found Hervé guilty of manslaughter, but imposed no sentence, ruling that the 10-year scandale had robbed him of his right to be presumed innocent.
“Politicians are like gangsters,” said Sylvie Rouy, an infected plaintiff. “If you don’t catch them in the cookie jar, you never get them.

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