Activists clash over
AIDS research vs. animal rights
June 19, 1996
Web posted at: 12:45 a.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- AIDS activists and animal rights advocates are facing off in the nation's capital this week in a feud over the use of animals in biomedical research.
The confrontation came to a head Tuesday, when an animal protection advocate was ejected from a news conference sponsored by those who favor using animals in experiments with AIDS drugs and treatments.
The flashpoint centered on an experimental bone marrow transplant involving baboons. In December, doctors in San Francisco transplanted the bone marrow of a baboon into AIDS activist and patient Jeff Getty.
Baboons are resistant to the AIDS infection, and doctors hoped the marrow cells would help restore Getty's immune system.
But tests have not found any surviving baboon marrow cells in Getty since late January, although he says he expects to undergo more elaborate tests soon.
Getty said he received death threats during the experiment. He was the subject of criticism at a news conference held earlier in the day by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Steven Simmons, who was diagnosed with AIDS last year, accused Getty of trying to promote an experiment that failed. (128K AIFF or WAV sound)
Thousands of animal rights activists are converging on Washington this week in an annual visit to lobby Congress for stronger laws protecting animals used in scientific research. On Sunday, Hollywood celebrities are scheduled to take part in a protest march that AIDS activists plan to denounce.
Both sides have been using high-profile tactics to make their points. And they have been getting some high-profile attention: Both AIDS research and animal rights have become fashionable issues among in Hollywood's show business community.
- Baboon marrow transplant patient survives - Dec. 15, 1995
- Baboon bone marrow recipient 'feeling great' - December 15, 1995
- Experimental baboon-to-human AIDS transplant begins- Dec. 14, 1995
- Americans for Medical Progress: Hollywood, AIDS and Animal Rights
- PETA Factsheet: AIDS: Contagion and Confusion
- Animal Rights Resource Site
- The Body: A Multimedia AIDS and HIV Information Resource
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