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AFRIK-IT  June 1995

AFRIK-IT June 1995

Subject:

ONLINE AFRICAN REPORTS

From:

mukiri wa githendu <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List

Date:

Fri, 16 Jun 1995 01:18:16 CDT

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (144 lines)

By LAWRENCE K. ALTMAN
 
c.1995 N.Y. Times News Service
 
Infection with a relatively mild type of AIDS virus seems to protect
some people against infection with a more virulent type of the virus,
according to a study of prostitutes in West Africa that is being
reported in the journal Science on Friday.
 
The more virulent virus is HIV-1, responsible for the epidemic of AIDS
in many areas of the world. The milder virus is HIV-2, which is common
in West Africa but rare elsewhere, and takes much longer to produce
disease.
 
The authors of the study suggested that the findings might help in
developing an AIDS vaccine, perhaps one modeled after the cowpox
vaccine that was used to protect against smallpox. Cowpox virus is
harmless but the smallpox virus, though closely related, is one of the
most devastating viruses known.
 
Although independent AIDS experts called the new findings
``interesting,'' they said it was not clear how they would lead to an
AIDS vaccine.
 
Theoretically, the findings might help in developing an AIDS vaccine if
researchers could determine the specific components of the immune
system that might be stimulated by HIV-2 to protect against HIV-1, and
then used genetic engineering techniques to incorporate them in an AIDS
vaccine.
 
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Md., said the findings offered
``circumstantial but not definitive proof that HIV-2 might protect
against HIV-1 and thus add a little data that helps buoy an old
thesis.''
 
He added, ``It is interesting, but there are a lot of ifs involved.''
 
The study was carried out by researchers from the Harvard School of
Public Health and the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal,
and involved 756 ``commercial sex workers'' in Senegal.
 
In the study, which was conducted from 1985 to 1994, infection with
HIV-2 reduced a woman's chances of becoming infected with HIV-1 by 70
percent.
 
Several years ago Dr. Max Essex, who headed the Harvard team, theorized
that a less virulent virus might protect against HIV-1. At that time,
he said HIV-2 did not cause disease in humans.
 
However, subsequent research by Essex's team and others has shown that
HIV-2 does eventually cause AIDS. Studies, including the newest one,
have shown that a person may be infected with both viruses.
 
Dr. Harold Jaffe, an authority on AIDS at the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said that the findings were
``fascinating'' but would not help develop an AIDS vaccine unless
scientists could determine the immunologic mechanism by which HIV-2
protects against infection with HIV-1.
 
``It doesn't really give us a specific new direction to take in making
a vaccine,'' Jaffe said.
 
While HIV-2 seemed to protect against HIV-1 in the study, infection
with HIV-1 did not seem to protect against HIV-2. ``It's kind of
puzzling that the protection only worked in one direction,'' Jaffe
said.
 
 
 
Transmitted: 95-06-15 22:51:49 EDT
      By Buchizya Mseteka
 
    NAIROBI, June 15 (Reuter) - Kenya unveiled its 1995/96 budget on
    Thursday promising zero deficit, a sound investment climate and a
    commitment to tough economic reforms backed by key Western donors.
 
    Finance Minister Musalia Mudavadi told parliament better tax
    collection would help more than triple the gross recurrent revenue
    to $5.9 billion in the year starting July 1.
 
    Gross recurrent expenditures would almost double to $5 billion,
    going mainly to schools, hospitals and roads, he said.
 
    ``We were able to reduce the budget deficit as a proportion of the
    gross domestic product from 6.4 percent in 1993/94 to 0.7 percent
    in 1994/95. I remain confident that we are now well on the way to
    eliminating the deficit in 1995/96 financial year,'' the minister
    said.
 
    Mudavadi announced new regulations easing restrictions on foreign
    investment in the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) and said one third
    of 146 cash-strapped state corporations would be fully privatised
    by the end of 1995.
 
   The ceiling on foreign ownership of shares in any listed stock was
   being raised to 40 percent from 20 percent, and the limit on
   individual foreign investors' ownership of any stock would be raised
   to five percent from 2.5 per cent, he said.
 
    ``These changes will open up new sources of investment in Kenyan
    companies,'' Mudavadi told parliament.
 
    Foreign investors were invited into Kenya's bourse in January but
    many complained the access was limited.
 
    ``Although much has been done in recent years to encourage both
    domestic and foreign investment, a great deal still remains to be
    done. It is essential that we establish a track record of sound
    fiscal and monetary management,'' Mudavadi said.
 
    The minister said ``modalities have been worked out to repeal the
    exchange control act completely'' by the end of parliament's
    current session.
 
    Kenya's currency was made convertible last year, but some
    restrictions remained.
 
    Mudavadi said he was immediately lifting a temporary ban on imports
    of maize, sugar, wheat and milk.
 
    The ban -- condemned by donors as anti-reform -- was imposed on
    April 5 this year and was due to run for six months.
 
    Kenya said originally that the ban was justified because the four
    commodities were subsidised by producer countries and their import
    undercut Kenya's domestic producers.
 
    The minister said he would cut Kenya's 272,000-strong civil service
    by 20,000 jobs in the new financial year, and some 28,000 more
    would be laid off by mid 1997.
 
    Mudavadi said that Kenya's foreign debt remained at $5.5 billion,
    and the country was expected to pay $188 million in the current
    fiscal year.
 
 
Transmitted: 95-06-16 01:45:44 EDT
 
 
---
mukiri w githendu
[log in to unmask]

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