Reducing the Risks of HIV Research

When the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science opens in Boston later this week, eight of its scores of sessions will deal with AIDS. That is far more attention than the meeting allocates to any other single topic. Even superconductivity, the glamour kid of science, gets only two. Despite all those days of discussion, judging by the condensed program available in advance of the meeting, the organizers have ignored a critical aspect of AIDS research: the safet

Tabitha Powledge
Feb 7, 1988
When the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science opens in Boston later this week, eight of its scores of sessions will deal with AIDS. That is far more attention than the meeting allocates to any other single topic. Even superconductivity, the glamour kid of science, gets only two.

Despite all those days of discussion, judging by the condensed program available in advance of the meeting, the organizers have ignored a critical aspect of AIDS research: the safety of the researchers who are trying to make it go away. As we reported in our last issue (THE SCIENTIST, .January 25, 1987 p. 1), it is not clear that current lab safety procedures offer enough protection against HIV infection, even then they are carefully observed. A two-year study of 265 lab workers, published in Science on New Year's Day, disclosed that one of them had become infected...

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