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September 10, 2001 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-10

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NATION/WORLD

The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 10, 2001- 5A

Vaccine
ma hel
poor AIDs
victims
The Washington Post
PHILADELPHIA - A vaccine that
is not even 50 percent effective could
nevertheless change the course of the
AIDS epidemic in Africa under certain
circumstances, according to predic-
tions made here at the conclusion of a
scientific conference.
A poor AIDS vaccine would have to
be used by nearly an entire population
to have any benefit. However, even
with less-than-complete coverage,
such a vaccine could prove useful if
already-infected people had access to
antiviral drugs, which reduce a per-
son's likelihood of transmitting the
virus to someone else.
On the other hand, if people were to
greet the arrival of a modestly effec-
tive vaccine by increasing their risky
sexual behavior even a little, all benefit
would disappear.
"We don't need a perfect vaccine to
have a public health impact. Even one
that is only moderately protective
could control the epidemic," said
Ronald H. Gray, of the Bloomberg
School of Public Health at Johns
Hopkins University, who created a
mathematical model that tested the
effects an AIDS vaccine would have
on Uganda, one of the worst-hit
nations in Africa.
In the Rakai district of Uganda,
about one in every 900 acts of hetero-
sexual intercourse results in a new
infection with human immunodefi-
ciency virus (HIV). As in the rest of
Africa, this is the main mode of virus
transmission.
Each infected person in Rakai
infects an average of 1.34 other people
before he or she dies. That is called the
"reproductive number" of the epidem-
ic, and if it can be reduced to less than
1, disease transmission will abate and,
theoretically at least, eventually burn
out.
Gray and his colleagues calculated
that a 50 percent effective vaccine
would have to be taken by everyone in
Rakai to tip the reproductive number
below 1. A 75 percent effective vac-
cine used by half the population would
do the same thing.
Even a 25 percent effective vaccine
used by three-quarters of the popula-
tion would drive the number below 1 if
already-infected people received
antiviral treatment at the stage of dis-
ease recommended by guidelines from
the Department of Health and Human
Services, Gray calculated.
Such treatment does not exist in
Africa now. But with deeply cut drug
prices and the United Nations' recent
decision to create a global fund to buy
AIDS drugs for the developing world,
the possibility is not entirely out of the
question.

Seattle mohawk I

Groups plan for
next vacancy

Anti-abortion groups
lobbying for next Supreme
Court Justice
The Washington Post
The fight for the next Supreme
Court vacancy is taking on a new
sound, if not exactly a new tone.
To persuade the Senate to support
an anti-abortion nominee when the
pivotal court seat becomes available,
a coalition of conservative groups is
delivering more than 20,000 baby
rattles to Capitol Hill offices. The
slogan: "Shake the nation back to
life!"
The rattle is intended as "a noisy
reminder of the little ones who,
because of abortion, will never live,
love or laugh on this earth," organizers
say.
The campaign is accompanied by a
sing-song television commercial fea-
turing frolicking toddlers on the Mall
who cry and disappear when the
Supreme Court approves legal abor-

tion.
"In order to seechildren protected
again in our lifetime, we must fill
every single vacancy with a pro-life
justice," said Janet L. Folger, director
of the Florida-based Center for
Reclaiming America.
Conservative groups supporting the
campaign - which has raised and
spent $2.2 million, according to Fol-
ger - include the Family Research
Council, Focus on the Family, Phyllis
Schlafly's Eagle Forum and Chuck
Colson's Prison Fellowship. Individu-
als are encouraged to pay $25 to send
a rattle to a senator and an accompa-
nying letter to the White House, urg-
ing President Bush to nominate an
abortion foe.
A separate anti-abortion advertising
effort began in Philadelphia, spon-
sored by the U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops. The poster and radio
campaign, costing $500,000, raises
questions about legal abortions late in
pregnancy and notes that the health of
a mother or child is not a factor in the
majority of abortions.

I JESSICA JOHNSON/Daily
Seattle resident Jason Johnson relaxes Friday afternoon outside The Seattle Experience Project, a museum dedicated
to rock and roll.

Slavery reparations top issue at Racism Conference

DURBAN, South Africa (AP) - African rep-
resentatives have joined African-American
activists in encouraging delegates at the World
Conference Against Racism to adopt a final dec-
laration that calls for an apology for slavery and
colonialism and initiates reparations.
Since the conference began Friday, one
African representative after another have given
speeches blaming the slave trade and colonialism
for the underdevelopment of their countries.
Some demanded only apologies, while others
wanted cash.

"Slavery should be remembered not only as an
appalling tragedy, but also as a factor which, for
centuries, deprived Africa of her human and nat-
ural resources," said Enoch Kavindele, the vice
president of Zambia - who is also representing
the African Union, the successor to the Organiza-
tion of African Unity.
He said the union "calls for the establishment of
an international compensation scheme for victims
of the slave trade and a development restoration
fund to provide additional resources for the devel-
opment of countries affected by colonialism."

Members of the U.S. Congressional Black
Caucus have attended the conference since it"
began on Friday, condemning President Bush for
not sending Secretary of State Colin Powell, and
demanding U.S. reparations for slavery.
"The treatment of blacks in (the United States)
has historically been deplorable, and while steps
have been made to better the racial climate, noth-
ing as been done to compensate those who have
been wronged in the process," Rep. Cynthia
McKinney (D-Georgia) said.
The Council of Europe announced Monday

that its 43 nations had agreed to help fund a new
African development program to help compen-
sate for colonialism and slavery, but those funds
would be provided outside the context of the
racism conference.
The draft of a final declaration for the confer-
ence, which will end on Friday, includes five
paragraphs calling for such reparations in one
form or another. Two paragraphs call for explicit
apologies for slavery and colonialism.
A consensus on a final draft has not been
reached yet.

Chess master claims Bobby Fischer playing on Internet

LONDON (AP) - A British chess
grandmaster is convinced that Bobby
Fischer, one of the game's most leg-
endary and elusive figures, is playing
again - anonymously on the Internet.
"I am 99 percent sure that I have been
playing against the chess legend," Nigel
Short told The Sunday Telegraph. "It's
tremendously exciting."
Fischer, an American, fascinated the
world by winning an epic battle against

a lussian, Boris Spassky, in Reykjavik,
Iceland in 1972. Then he disappeared,
only to re-emerge from retirement in
1992 for a controversial rematch against
Spassky in Yugoslavia.
Fischer won, and then disappeared
again after U.S. authorities accused him
of violating sanctions imposed against
Yugoslavia by playing the match.
Short, who unsuccessfully challenged
Garry Kasparov for the world chess title

in 1993, said rumors began circulating
last year that the American champion
was anonymously playing others in
quick, three-minute games at the Inter-
net Chess Club. Short said he was skep-
tical, even after his friend, Greek
grandmaster loannis Papaioannou,
claimed to have played Fischer.
A few weeks later, Short said, he
was approached by someone who
identified himself as an intermediary

for "a very strong chess player ... who
wished to preserve his anonymity."
The intermediary gave Short a special
code word and arranged a time for a
future game.
They played eight three-minute
games. Short was crushed.
"I never confronted my opponent
with the question, 'Am I playing Bobby
Fischer,"' Short conceded. But during
subsequent games, Short said he asked

other questions, and the answers all
seemed like they could only come from
one man.
"He was obviously very familiar in
a gossipy way with the major figures
in the chess world of the 1960s - Fis-
cher's period of greatest activity,"
wrote Short. "He was polite, he was
funny, and clearly an American, to
judge from his spelling and pattern of
conversation"

i

eu°"y

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