June #24 : Devil to Pay - by Walter Armstrong and Ronnilyn Pustil

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Table of Contents

Nowhere Else to Go

Great Escapes

Gotta Light?

The Great Sex Debate

Made in Japan

Clipped Wings

The Vinyl Solution

Into the Woods

Hazel's House

Open Windows

S.O.S.-June 1997

Mailbox-June 1997

Ad Lip

A Higher Standard

Just Not Like a Prayer

Who's Sore-y Now?

Say What-June 1997

Devil to Pay

Web of Cries

On Pins and Needles

Fatal Attraction

Cocktails for Kids

To B or Not to B

Pot Doc Stalked


Alexander the Great(ish)

POZ Picks-June 1997

Skin Traders

Absolutely Fabregas

Barbarians at the Gates

Borders on Madness

A Second Look

Painful Truths

Before the Revolution

Riding Bareback

The Fleecing of Oprah

Barrier Blues

Mixed and Matched

To Tell the Truth

The Borders of Health

Road Trip Grub Tips

Following Your HAART

TLC for Your Largest Organ

Art and Soul


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 1997

Devil to Pay

by Walter Armstrong and Ronnilyn Pustil

People with hemophilia wait for redemption

Getting blood for a stone is child’s play compared with what thousands of people with hemophilia (PWHs) face in getting reparations from the industry they accuse of knowingly infecting them with HIV. Under a legal settlement, four drug companies established a $640 million fund for victims of their blood products between 1978 and 1985. Each plaintiff or plaintiff’s survivor is owed $100,000. Why the yearlong holdup? Paperwork.

The deal is stalled due to Medicaid officials. When Uncle Sam ordered the states to reimburse Medicaid for its payout for some PWHs’ HIV treatments before the claimants get their payback, federal judge John Grady said the money should come from the drug giants. But to figure out how much Medicaid is owed, the companies had to survey the 6,200 claimants. As POZ went to press, Judge Grady, stating that “time is of the essence,” ordered the parties to work out an agreement by May 1 for claimants who never got government aid, and for all others by year’s end.

But waiting even that long is a luxury. “We’re losing up to 40 claimants a month. Close to 4,000 are now dead,” said Dana Kuhn of the Committee of Ten Thousand (COTT), an advocacy group for the PWHs who got HIV in the early ‘80s.”We filed the class-action suit three years ago. The community is very frustrated at this point. It’s like the dangling carrot. The money’s been allocated but people can’t get their hands on it because of technicalities.” According to Kuhn, for each day of delay, the blood industry makes about $250,000 in interest on the settlement money.

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