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Montrose Voice, No. 277, February 14, 1986
File 005
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Montrose Voice, No. 277, February 14, 1986 - File 005. 1986-02-14. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. July 3, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4675/show/4650.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1986-02-14). Montrose Voice, No. 277, February 14, 1986 - File 005. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4675/show/4650

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Montrose Voice, No. 277, February 14, 1986 - File 005, 1986-02-14, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed July 3, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4675/show/4650.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Montrose Voice, No. 277, February 14, 1986
Contributor
  • McClurg, Henry
  • Wyche, Linda
Publisher Community Publishing Company
Date February 14, 1986
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 22329406
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 005
Transcript 4 MONTROSE VOICE/FEBRUARY 14, 1986 Decline in Other STD's Too AIDS Cases Reported in Houston Levels Off By Pete Diamond Montrose Voice Staff Reporter In the seven years since the first cases of AIDS were reported in the U.S., some 16,500 people have been afflicted with the disease. Each month the number of people diagnosed as having AIDS continues to climb, and the national Center for Disease Control estimates there will be between 14,000 and 15,000 new cases this year. Despite this grim prediction, there is some encouraging news. According to statistics compiled by the City of Houston Department of Health and Human Services, the number of reported AIDS cases in Houston appears to be leveling off. From 1981 to 1984, the number of new AIDS cases more than doubled each year. Last year was the exception, however. In 1985, 192 new cases of AIDS were diagnosed, compared to 171 cases in 1984. Houston Health Director Dr. James Haughton says he first began noticing the apparent slowdown of new cases early in 1985. And although he predicts the trend to continue this year, Haughton cautions that the AIDS virus may remain dormant for five years or more. Therefore it is difficult to estimate the number of Houstonians who may eventually develop AIDS. Haughton added there is a lag in the reporting of new AIDS cases and the total number of cases for 1985 may exceed 200. Even if this does occur, he says the total will still be far less than the doubling of previous years. Tom Audette, administrative director for the Montrose Clinic, does not dispute the reported leveling off of AIDS cases, but questions the reliability of the statistics. "We see the figures leveling off, but are they accurate? I'm just not sure." Audette says he is uncertain whether the actual number of AIDS cases is decreasing or if the reporting of new cases is decreasing. Discrimination towards persons with AIDS is no longer suspected, he says. It has been documented. A diagnosis of AIDS may, as in some cases, result in an individual losing his job, being evicted from an apartment or even being shunned by friends and family members. It is this threat of discrimination that Audette believes may be causing some individuals to not tell a person he has AIDS if some doubt exists in the diagnosis or not reporting that a patient has AIDS in order to protect the individual. If the city's statistics are an accurate indication of how many people in Houston have AIDS, several ideas have been offered to account for why the number of new cases appears to be leveling off. Haughton suggests one reason for this may be that fewer gay men are moving to Houston, something he believes has resulted from the defeat of the gay job rights referendum and anti-homosexual rhetoric during last November's election. Audette, on the contrary, disputes this thought as "pure conjecture" because it is difficult to prove. However, the two men agree that a leveling off of AIDS cases could be attributable to safer sex practices and educational materials about preventing AIDS. "People are more conscious of their health today. If their immunity system is depressed, they're seeking help to try to correct it," Audette says. "Gay men have absolutely changed their sexual habits overall. There's no question in my mind." This change in sexual habits has also had a dramatic impact on the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STD's) among gay men. Audette explained that in contrast to the ever-growing number of people with AIDS, fewer people are requiring treatment for STD's. Citywide, the number of cases of gonorrhea and syphilis has declined significantly among both the gay and general populations. However, the rate of decline for the gay population was nearly twice as rapid as that of the general population. From 1982 to 1985, gonorrhea dropped 63.3 percent among gays and syphilis decreased 58.2 percent. This is compared to a 41.2 percent decline in gonorrhea for the general population and a drop of 39.8 percent in the incidence of syphilis. Audette says he is not surprised by the drop in the number of STD cases. "It's directly attributable to safe sex," he says. "Most people have dramatically changed their sexual habits. Relationships are in." But Audette is concerned that some people may develop a false sense of security about contracting an STD because the numbers are down. Audette sayB it is unfortunate, for example, that fewer people are taking the Hepatitis B vaccine. Many people are more concerned about spending their money to take the HTLV-III or PACE (Program for AIDS Counseling and Evaluation) test than the Hepatitis B vaccine, he says. "We need to try to forget AIDS for a while and remember to take preventative health measures such as the hepatitis vaccine." Nevertheless, Audette maintains "it's important to constantly hammer into people's heads the ways of preventing AIDS." Some of the people most susceptible to being exposed to the AIDS virus are those who are ignorant of how to prevent exposure, he says. Despite the encouraging statistics showing the number of new AIDS cases may be leveling off in Houston, Audette says there is still reason to be concerned. While the number of cases in Houston may stabilize somewhat, they may increase in another city—for a period of time—and then these "trends" may reverse themselves. "Maybe I'm being too pessimistic about it," he says. "I hope the figures are true, (but) we are in no way out of the woods. The worst thing we can do is imply that we are." BETTER LAIURS &QARDERS Total ldu?n maintenance including moiuinq. edginq, Irimming, pruning, fertilizing, sprauinq • Fireiuood A • Bed tTlulchinq £>& • Azalea Feeding .-'"•"■ i • Debris Remoual *§?&K5r • Complete Tree Seruice • Stumps Remoued • Total Fencing Services (Cedar, Tlotched Picket, Treated, etc.) • Complete Sprinkler Systems FREE ESTIMATES! BEST PRICES! 523-LAWN Tropical Aqua Fest Party All Weekend Friday, Feb. 14 8-10pm— 10<t Well drinks Warner Brothers World Video Premiere Paul Jabora "Ocho Rios" at Midnight. Door Prizes and Drink Specials All Night 2am-5pm Houston's Hottest After Hours S2 cover Saturday, Feb. 15 8-10pm— 10C Well Drinks No Cover Tonight with your Mardi Gras Finale Ticket DJ/VJ Michael Lowery Spins 2am-5«im Feel the Electricity ■ DANCE ■ $2 cover Sunday, Feb. 16 5pm—The Party Continues on Pacific Street "Tropical Aqua Fest" Decorations Phillip McClain. Free Draft All Day/All Night. Hurricane Specials—Leis—Door Prizes 2am-4am After Hours and only S2 cover Myer's Jamaican Rum <& Cokes All Weekend only S2.50 X X Sunday, February 23 DIVINE plus The St. Valentine's Day "21.06 Massacre Party" Park Once Pacific at Grant 52 1-0 107 Party All Night
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