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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Kenya's currency was made convertible last year, but some
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
Transmitted: 95-06-16 01:45:44 EDT
mukiri w githendu
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