APRIL 17, 1987/MONTROSE VOICE 11
WASHINGTON (UPI)—Nearly four out
of five Americans believe couples planning to marry should be tested for
AIDS, a poll said Saturday, but more
than half of respondents said they had
not changed their behavior to guard
The CNN-U.S. News & World Report
poll, conducted by The Roper Organization, also found that a majority of Americans believe the government should
pay for treatment of AIDS patients with
a new drug found to help sufferers cope
with the deadly illness.
The survey of 1,017 people, conducted
at the end of March, asked whether testing for the AIDS virus should be
required for various groups.
Seventy-seven percent said couples
planning marriage should take the
blood test, and 74 percent of respondents favored testing of people entering
hospitals. Seventy-four percent favored
testing immigrants, and 71 percent
favored testing persons entering the
Only those entering the armed services currently are required to have an
AIDS blood test taken.
Only 7 percent ofthe respondents said
they themselves had had a test to determine whether they carry the AIDS
virus, but 43 percent said they had
changed their behavior in some way to
reduce their exposure to AIDS.
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome is a viral disease that breaks
down the body's immune system, leaving a person susceptible to a variety of
illnesses, including pneumonia and
cancer. As of March 30, the Centers for
Disease Control in Atlanta reported
33,482 cases of AIDS in the United
States, of which 19,394 victims have
Researchers say AIDS is transmitted
primarily by sexual contact and the
sharing of intravenous needles.
Surgeon General C. Everett Koop has
recommended that people who are sexually active but not involved in a faithful
monogamous relationship should use
condoms to prevent possible transmission of the virus that causes AIDS.
But the CNN-U.S. News poll said 53
percent of respondents said they had
not changed their sexual behavior at all'
as a result of the epidemic the same
number that said they were "not at all
worried" about getting AIDS.
Only 10 percent said they were very
worried about contracting the disease.
More than half of the respondents—
59 percent—also said they thought the
government should pay for the expensive new drug, AZT, shown to prolong
the life of AIDS patients if the victim
could not afford it.
Almost all respondents said people
who have the AIDS virus should inform
their sexual partners. Ninety-five percent said spouses should be informed
and 94 percent said anyone with whom
the person has sex should be informed.
Only 43 percent thought people who
carry the virus, but who do not actually
have the disease, should inform their
health insurance company. Fifty-seven
percent said such people should stop
having sex entirely.
Eighty-two percent of the respondents said newspaper obituaries should
not mention that a person died of AIDS
if the victim's family objects.
The poll's margin of error was 4 percent.
Inmate Claims to Have
Arranged 'Personals' Killing
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UPI)—An Oklahoma prison inmate claims he arranged
from his prison cell to have a Blount
County man killed last year in what
authorities said April 10 is a "bizarre"
The claims of David Paul Hammer,
28, an inmate at the state prison in Mc A-
lester, Okla., are being taken seriously,
Blount County District Attorney David
Hammer said he never met the victim
in person, but made contact with him
through the Los Angeles-based magazine The Advocate.
"He (Hammer) says he set the thing
up. It appears that he may have done
that," Ballard said April 10, "This guy
gets very vague sometimes. He's very
difflicult to deal with at times."
"It's really all bizarre," Ballard said.
Detectives traveled to Oklahoma in
December to intervew Hammer, who
claims he set up the Nov. 23, 1986, killing of Kenneth Kenner, 39, of Louis
Kenner was found beaten to death
Nov. 24 at his apartment in the Blount
County community near Alcoa, Tenn.
No arrests have been made.
Hammer is serving a total of 1,200
years on 13 felony convictions in Oklahoma. He told The Knoxville News-
Sentinel in a telephone interview from
his cell he arranged to have a former
cellmate rob and kill Kenner.
Hammer said he corresponds with
people through The Advocate, getting
them to send him money. He claims to
have netted over $50,000 through the
setup last year.
Hammer said Kenner did not realize
he was in prison. He said he uses part of
the money he gets for a telephone answering service, so people with whom he
corresponds will not know he is behind
Hammer said his correspondence
with Kenner led him to believe the Tennessee man had money, so he decided to
hire someone to rob him. He said he contacted a former cellmate and told the
man to rob Kenner and "to leave no witnesses."
Hammer claims the former cellmate
killed Kenner by beating him over the
head with a roofing axe.
"I told him to kill the guy," Hammer
told The News-Sentinel.
The inmate said he telephoned the
Kenner residence the day of and day
after the killing. He said he talked with
his ex-cellmate the first time, who told
him Kenner was dead.
Ballard said the second call tipped off
authorities because County Detective
Kenneth Myers answered the phone.
Authorities then found letters from
Hammer when they searched Kenner's
Ballard said authorities are searching for Hammer's former cellmate.
"We also are looking into the possibility of charging Hammer, seeing if we
can charge him and bring him back to
Tennessee," Ballard said.