The Collegian : the weekly newspaper of Behrend College. (Erie, PA) 1989-1993, December 09, 1993, Image 9

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    Thursday, December 9, 1993
Defend yourself against AIDS
bj Jobs Rossomando
CoUtfUm Staff
Since AIDS was first reported
ten years ago, there has been a
massive politicization of the
disease. Celebrities wear red
ribbons at the Grammys and
every other major event in
The ted ribbon is no mare than
a symbol, and by wearing a red
ribbon the disease simply will
not disappear.
People who wear these ribbons
believe that they are helping fight
the disease, and they wear them
because they want to feel that
they are a part of the fight.
What is concretely being
accomplished by wearing these
ribbons, and how are those
suffering Cram this disease truly
being helped by wearing them?
Symbolism over substance is
all that the red ribbon represents.
The red ribbon is little more than
a pat on the back for sick people
with a serious condition.
Instead of wearing a red ribbon
which helps no one, you should
concern yourself with helping
AIDS patients in the hospitals or
start a career in microbiology.
True compassion comes from
physically helping these sick
people by making their days a
little brighter, and not by wearing
a red ribbon.
AIDS may be a tragic
condition which leaves its
victims unable to fight off
infection and of course,
eventually results in death.
Many people, especially those
in groups like ACT UP, think
by Dave Barry
I am sick and died of all this
lawyer-bashing. When I hear
somebody say something bad
about lawyers, it makes me wattt
to walk up and spit in his face,
thereby causing him to shove
me, so I can fall down and file a
$l7 million personal-injury
lawsuit against him.
Because I happen to think
lawyers are great, I am darned
grateful that I live in a country
that has, pound for pound, more
lawyers than any other country
in the entire world. We NEED a
lot of lawyers, to protect all
these rights we have as
Americans, including -* but not
limited to - the rights to life,
liberty, the pursuit of happiness,
job security, decent housing,
affordable health cate, the captive
of happiness, a non-smoking
section, a joke-free work
environment, a smoking section,
cable TV, a team that makes the
playoffs, rain-free outdoor
weddings, risk-free bungee
jumping, warning labels on
everything including spiders,
self-esteem and a choice of low
fst desserts.
that there is some miracle cure
for this disease, and the previous
two administrations made sure
that a cure was not found.
The first AIDS campaign was
launched by Ronald Reagan's
surgeon general C. Everett Koop,
and billions of dollars have been
poured into AIDS research. In
1992 four billion dollars was
spent on AIDS research, more
than on any other disease.
Still AIDS activists cried,
"George Bush is a murderer."
How is George Bush responsible
for AIDS, and did George Bush
deliberately spread AIDS?
Finding a vaccine for AIDS will
not be an easy process because of
die nature of the virus.
The virus is unlike anything
medical science has seen thus far
because it mutates at an
unbelievable rate, and if they
prepare a vaccine for one virus,
by the time that it is applied you
will be dealing with an entirely
different virus. Some researchers
are even saying that there may
never be a cure for AIDS.
AIDS activists constantly cry
to use a condom when you have
sex. They make the condom out
to be the miracle preventative
measure for AIDS. Quite simply,
condoms break and the American
Medical Assocation estimates
that condoms have a 30% failure
rate. As a result, a person could
be wearing a condom and still
come in contact with infected
body fluids.
Because the AIDS advocacy is
well-funded mid has numerous
supporters in the Hollywood
Left, they are able to spread the
Go ahead, sue me!
We have so many rights that
we cannot possibly keep track of
them all with our primitive non
tegal minds. This is why we
need all there lawyers out there
fighting for us, even when we
are not aware of it
A fine example of this,
brought to my attention by alert
reader Leon Rothman, is the case
of the Denture Adhesive Menace,
as reported in a Miami Herald
story by Bruce Taylor Seeman.
In case you missed this story, let
me review the frets of die case:
From 1983 to 1990, a
company named Smith Kline
Beecham manufactured denture
adhesives sold under the names
“Orafix Special” and “Brace."
Smith Kline recalled these
products in 1990 after they were
found to contain trace amounts
of benzene, a carcinogen.
Smith Kline contends that the
products were not harmful.
There is no evidence anybody
got cancer from using them.
Then a retired Philadelphia
auto-supplies dealer named
Meyer E. Duboff, who used
Smith Kline denture products,
contacted his lawyer. Jay S.
myth and perception that if you
wear a condom during sex, you
are invulnerable to the virus.
Instead, they should be stating
that condoms reduce the risk, but
the risk is still there. The only
safe sex is no sex! "For the
wages of sin is death."
The only thing that is 100%
effective in preventing the disease
is abstinence. Chastity may be
hard for many people, but it is
the only sure-fire way of
eliminating your risk of AIDS.
Is instant gratification worth
getting AIDS, syphilis, or
hepatitis? Long term pleasure is
far more rewarding than the
moment If you are celibate you
completely eliminate all risk of
AIDS, VDs, and pregnancy.
AIDS is also a behavioral
disease because it is spread
through various promiscuous
sexual practices, and IV drug use.
The best way to prevent AIDS if
you are sexually active is to be
strictly monogamous, and have
your boyfriend or girlfriend
screened to make sure he or she is
not infected. Refrain from having
sex with someone who you don't
know well, and from having sex
for the sake of sex.
The Centers for Disease
Control estimate that the reason
90% of all AIDS cases are located
among homosexuals is because
the average male homosexual has
as many as 12 partners per year
thereby spreading the virus.
I don't personally hold this
belief, but I am only going by a
1991 CDC report. If
homosexuals want to slow the
spread of AIDS, they should
“He called me and said, ‘l’ve
been using this for years. Can
you check it out?”’ Cohen told
die Miami Herald.
OK, is everybody following
this so far? ONE GUY has
called his lawyer. This guy does
NOT have cancer. NOBODY
has cancer. Nobody is claiming
ANYBODY actually got hurt.
So the lawyer told the guy:
“Gosh, Meyer, nothing really
happened. Why don’t you just
forget about it?”
NO! Just kidding! That
might happen in some backward,
under-lawyered nation like Japan,
but not here in the U.S.A.!
What happened here, of course,
was that Cohen and some other
lawyers filed a class-action
lawsuit against Smith Kline on
behalf of Duboff and all the
other denture-adhesive users out
there who, because of a tragic
lack of legal representation, had
not yet noticed that they were
And of course Smithkline, to
avoid the hassle and publicity
and legal expense of a trial,
settled out of court. Three
groups got money in the
press to close the bathhouses
which are the breeding grounds
for the disease.
To eliminate the spread among
heterosexuals, prostitution should
be cracked down on because
prostitutes are the primary
carriers of AIDS among
heterosexuals. The primary way
that AIDS is transmitted is by
promiscuous sexual behavior.
Anyone who has AIDS and
knowingly transmits the disease
should be charged with first
degree murder as well as receive a
large fine. This should act as a
deterent because these people who
knowingly spread this disease are
just as dangerous as a mugger
with a gun, and they should be
treated just as seriously as would
the mugger.
Why should we have an AIDS
Awareness Week when millions
of people die each year from
cancer, leukemia, hepatitis and
other deadly diseases? Back in the
1930 s polio epidemics broke out
every summer killing or
paralyzing thousands.
Why should we concentrate on
this one disease when more
people die of heart disease and
cancer every year than AIDS?
Should we not attack other
terminal diseases with the same
vigor as AIDS?
AIDS should be treated no
different than cancer, or any other
infectious disease. Why should
AIDS be apolitical issue when it
is only one of many deadly
diseases? All three strains of
hepatitis are sexually transmitted
and lethal as well as incurable, so
why should AIDS be treated by
I. MR, DUBOFF. He got
$23,000. Fair enough. It was
his idea in the first place.
were notified of their victimhood
via newspaper advertisements
and direct mailings, paid for by
Smith Kline. About 630 people
sent in proof of purchase - filled
out forms certifying that they
had purchased at least one tube
of either product; each of these
people received a package of
discount coupons for
Smith Kline products.
THE PLAINTIFF. If you are a
fan of justice, American Style,
you will be very excited when I
tell you what the lawyers got, in
expenses and legal fees.
They got $954,934.57.
“It’s a lot of money,” said
Cohen. “But there’s also a lot
of money that goes into these
I am sure there is! A lot of
money! Also a lot of work! It
cannot be easy, taking a case
wherein it appears, to die naked
untrained layperson eye, that
nobody has suffered any
observable harm, and, using
the media, ACT UP and other
parts of the Liberal
Establishment as if it were the
only deadly disease?
I don't wish to diminish the
severity of this disease, but I feel
that it should be treated no
differently than any other disease
no matter how many people are
We need to stop making AIDS
a political issue because politics
and science do not mix, and we
also need to treat other diseases,
especially akhololism, with the
same vigor that many of us have
come to treat AIDS with.
AIDS is a disease which is
behaviorally transmitted. Con
doms break Ind if you think that
wearing a condom will always
protect you from AIDS, you're
The only way to avoid AIDS is
to not have sex, or have your
partner checked for infectious
diseases before you decide to have
The next time someone tries to
tell you that wearing a condom
will prevent you from getting
AIDS, they are dead wrong.
Remind them about the failure
If you have sex without
thinking, you will pay the
consequences for your actions,
and the price of that decision
could be your life.
Chastity is better than being
dead. Think about it.
John Rossomando is a
regular columnist for
The Behrend College Collegian
legal skills, turning it into a
financial transaction that
involves thousands of people and
a million dollars! Plus coupons!
So the lawyers certainly
deserved this money, although
I’m certain that, for them, the
really important thing was
simply the satisfaction of
knowing that all those victims
are now finally able, at long
last, to put this horrible denture
adhesive nightmare behind them
and begin leading happier lives,
possibly by applying their $7
settlements toward world cruises,
vacation homes, etc.
Yes, we owe a tremendous
debt of gratitude to these lawyers
and the estimated 14.2 billion
other members of the American
legal community, many of
whom, I am sure, will write to
me on their official letterhead
stationery to respond to this
column. I look forward to
reading these letters; I just hope
that, in handling them, I do not
suffer paper cuts, which could
cause me, as a writer, to become
incapacitated, not to mention
pain and suffering.
And I’m not settling for any
stinking coupons.