Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998
Author: Lisa M. Krieger of the Examiner Staff


THIS WEEK, House Speaker Newt Gingrich and other top Republicans blasted
President Clinton for endorsing needle exchange programs to prevent AIDS
among drug users, even though Clinton will not allow federal funds for such
programs. "What's a little heroin or cocaine among friends?" Gingrich said
sarcastically at a news conference in which he lambasted Clinton on drugs
and teen smoking, Reuters news service reported. "There's no such thing as
a healthy heroin addict."

"I am personally appalled," said Tom Delay of Texas, the third-ranking
Republican in the House, saying that Clinton was talking about teen smoking
but basically "throwing in the towel" in fighting drug abuse.

"He's trying to take away cigarettes and give them needles to stick in
their arms," Delay said.

He said that if Clinton did not reverse himself, Republicans would push
through legislation against needle-exchange programs. They cited several
studies saying needle exchanges did not prevent AIDS.

The prime mover behind anti-drug legislation in the House, Rep. Rob
Portman, R-Ohio, said Tuesday the Clinton administration's tacit support
for needle exchanges to curb the spread of AIDS sent the wrong message
about narcotics use to the nation's youth.

Portman, who is fashioning an anti-drug package at the behest of the House
GOP leadership, characterized as "bizarre" a report by Health and Human
Services Secretary Donna Shalala that needle exchanges reduced the
incidence of HIV and didn't lead to increased drug use.

"It's as if they're throwing in the towel," he said. "What they should be
doing is redoubling their effort as far as prevention is concerned."

Portman said the administration was sending a contradictory message
expressing support for the idea but refusing to provide money. The better
course, he said, is to send a strong message that intravenous drug use
isn't acceptable.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Monday's decision came after a week of
negotiations between Shalala's staff and the White House, according to two
administration officials familiar with the talks. Shalala had been pressing
to rescind the ban, with some restrictions, and was prepared to defend that
decision on Capitol Hill, knowing it was bound to be controversial.

But the president's policy advisors feared that Republicans might push
through legislation that would strip federal money from organizations that
provide free needles, even though the money was used for other purposes.

Late Sunday, as Clinton returned from Chile, he instructed Shalala to
announce that federal funds would not be released, despite scientific
evidence that needle-exchange programs help prevent the spread of HIV.


*On Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Hospice By The Bay and S.F. State will
co-host a Washington, D.C.-based teleconference entitled "Living With
Grief: Who We Are, How We Grieve." It will be held at S.F. State's Guest
Conference Center. Call (415) 626-5900.

*The second meeting of a seven-week career and job search workshop will be
held Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Metropolitan Community Church, 150
Eureka St., presented by the Life Program. Call (415) 537-3990.

* "Healing in Whatever Way You Choose," a free holistic-based educational
program, will be held April 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Davies Medical Center,
Auditorium Level B, at Castro and Duboce streets. Call (415) 284-6237.

*The Immune Enhancement Project will hold a reopening ceremony to launch
its newly remodeled facility at 3450 16th St. on May 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. The
program will feature Mayor Brown, AIDS activists, refreshments, food and a
silent auction. Call (415) 252-8711.

*People with HIV-AIDS are invited to participate in a May 2 conference call
at which they can ask questions of leading treatment experts. The call,
sponsored by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, will be held May 2 at 2:30
p.m. Call 1-800-707-BETA for reservations.


*The 1998 San Francisco AIDS Dance-A-Thon, to be held starting at 4 p.m.
May 2 and running until 4 a.m., is expected to attract 3,500 to 7,000
participants who will dance for 12 hours to raise money for Mobilization
Against AIDS, Project Open Hand and 17 other Bay Area AIDS organizations.
Call (415) 896-1393.

*Join Project Inform on the May 9 annual Ron Wilmot Bike Ride, a leisurely
7-mile ride through Golden Gate Park to raise money for the group's
treatment and education programs. Wilmot, an avid cyclist and Project
Inform supporter, started the ride in 1995. Call (415) 558-8669, ext. 210.

*A $7 beer-and-soda party to benefit the AIDS Emergency Fund will be hosted
from to 7 p.m. May 9 by the Eagle Tavern, 398 12th St. Call (415) 626-0880.

Another $7 beer-and-soda party, auction, raffle and trivia contest will
held to benefit the AIDS Emergency Fund and Shanti from 4 to 7 p.m. May 10
at Daddy's Bar, 440 Castro St. Call (415) 621-8732.

*The Dr. Andrew Zysman Memorial Benefit to support ACT UP / Golden Gate
will be held from 4 to 7:30 p.m. May 17 at Alfred Schilling's Chocolate
Restaurant, 1695 Market St. Hors d'oeuvres, awards, entertainment and a
silent auction will be held. After the event, join the AIDS Memorial
Candlelight March as it passes. Tax-deductible tickets are $100, $250, $500
and $1,000. Call (415) 252-9200.

*The Wine Ride for AIDS, a 100-kilometer bike ride through the Alexander
Valley, will be held June 13 to raise money for Sonoma-based AIDS services.
Call (707) 544-1215.

The toll

Juk-San, 51, husband, father and an instructor in color and design and
floral arrangement at the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design in The City.
Born in the Sacramento area, he was originally named Stephen Kwong; his
Japanese tea ceremony name was Chy Ku San Takiyama; the name he used in gay
bars was Sean. A memorial will be held Saturday at his Potrero Hill home at
2203 19th St., 2 to 7 p.m.

Figures are cumulative since June 1981. Government officials now compile
and release statistics quarterly, not monthly. To contribute to AIDSweek,
call (415) 777-7867. AIDSweek columns are available on the Internet at / aidsweek / aidsweek.html

)1998 San Francisco Examiner