The NAACP launched a three-part series of AIDS-ed films targeting African Americans in October, partly as a response to longtime criticism that civil rights groups had ignored the issue. The shows will be broadcast on cable and distributed to churches, clinics and NAACP branches across the country.
California Gov. Gray Davis (D) signed two AIDS-related bills into law in October: One allows Cali residents with disabilities (including HIVers) to return to the workplace without forfeiting public assistance; the other lets Golden State cities create needle exchanges without fear of criminal prosecution.
The British government gave £14 million ($23 million) to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative in September. “Commercial motives alone will not provide a vaccine for the poor,” one rep told the BBC.
Despite increased profits, Glaxo Wellcome announced in October that it will shut down drug production in South Africa, part of a four-year plan that includes laying off 6 percent of its worldwide workforce. Company execs deny that the move is linked to recent parallel-import agreements.
Reports of an AIDS epidemic in Burma (Myanmar) are “false and groundless,” said First Secretary General Khin Nyunt, a member of the country’s ruling military junta. Despite Nyunt’s claims that such stats are politically motivated, UNAIDS estimates that 444,000 of Burma’s 48 million have HIV.
Four activists—three with HIV and one with asthma—charge in a civil lawsuit that New York City police withheld their meds after they were arrested at an October ’98 march in memory of Matthew Shepard.