LA Lapse
TheCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported March 11 thatthe federally funded Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center mistakenlytreated more than 400 syphilis patients between 1999 and 2004 withcontrol-release (CR) penicillin/bicillin  instead of the intendedlong-acting variety. The CR insert states “not indicated for thetreatment of syphilis,” but the clinic realized the error only after apatient read the label. Treatment- failure rate was reportedlyunaffected. Says Peter Kerndt, STD program 

Florida Follies
InFebruary, a Palm Beach County Health Department worker accidentallye-mailed a confidential list of 6,500 local PWAs to 800 departmentcolleagues. Office techies contained the data, but less than a monthlater, local HIVers received anonymous letters soliciting for a boguscharity. A few weeks after that, the same health
departmentdisclosed that 15 pages of yet another confidential PWA list wentmissing for two months. “They’re really not related incidents,” saysdepartment spokesperson Tim O’Connor, adding that neither list includedmailing addresses. The FBI is investigating.

DC Demerits
Thespermicide Nonoxynol-9 (N-9), once thought to help prevent HIV, hasbeen known to heighten risk since the late ’90s. By 2000, the CDC andother health orgs worldwide had downgraded their recommendations, andlast year, Durex, the world’s largest condom maker, discontinued itsN-9–lubricated love gloves. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) has refused to tweak N-9–product labeling. When pressed, an FDAspokeswoman, sounding confused and surprised, asked POZ: “Do you knowwhat other products contain N-9?"