The Rapeutation of Kimberly Bergalis, by CBS 60 Minutes

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The Rapeutation of Kimberly Bergalis, by CBS 60 Minutes

Postby admin » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:38 am

Proof on AIDS dentist inconclusive, doctor says
By Orlando Sentinel
June 19, 1994

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MIAMI -- It's a question that will not die: Did Stuart, Fla., dentist David Acer infect Kimberly Bergalis and five other patients with the AIDS virus before going to his grave?

Four years after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta concluded that he did, a Miami Beach physician is assailing the scientific evidence the institute relied upon: DNA tests.

"The CDC evidence is not absolutely correct -- far from it," virologist Lionel Resnick said Friday. "Based on the findings, you can't conclude . . . Dr. Acer infected his patients."

Dr. Resnick, chief of retrovirology and research at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, will repeat his assertions tonight on a CBS segment of "60 Minutes" already attacked as "junk journalism" and "junk science."

CBS spokesman Roy Brunett said the show would air "compelling new information" that suggests Dr. Acer was not responsible for infecting Ms. Bergalis or the other patients, and that Ms. Bergalis, who maintained until her December 1991 death that she never had sexual intercourse, engaged in "high-risk" sexual behavior.

CBS did not interview Ms. Bergalis' family or her attorney.


Dr. Acer died in 1990 shortly after publishing a letter to his patients informing them he had acquired immune deficiency syndrome. He is the only health-care provider ever blamed for infecting patients with HIV, which causes AIDS.

Ms. Bergalis, a 23-year-old University of Florida graduate from Fort Pierce, Fla., was the first of six patients whom the CDC determined were infected by Dr. Acer during routine dental visits. She made eloquent pleas for AIDS testing of health care workers. Two of the other five patients also have died.

Ms. Bergalis' attorney, Robert Montgomery, who also represents two of the remaining patients, called Dr. Resnick's research "junk science" and the CBS report "junk journalism."

He questioned Dr. Resnick's credibility, noting that the physician was paid at least $80,000 for his research by the insurance company that eventually paid millions of dollars in claims to Ms. Bergalis and other patients infected by Dr. Acer.

Although CDC officials and consultants do not know how Dr. Acer transmitted the virus to his patients, they concluded, based on DNA sequencing, that he had to be the source.

As far as George Bergalis, Kimberly's father, is concerned, the debate is over and the issue is fear -- fear of the truth his daughter's death imparted to the world: Health care providers can infect their patients with AIDS.

"This story is being perpetuated by the enemies of truth," Mr. jTC Bergalis said. "The medical community, the insurers, the government officials are still fearful of Kim and what she tried to do. They couldn't defeat her while she was alive, so they want to cast a shadow over her in death."
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Re: The Rapeutation of Kimberly Bergalis, by CBS 60 Minutes

Postby admin » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:44 am

Kimberly Bergalis
by Wikipedia

Kimberly Ann Bergalis (January 9, 1968 – December 8, 1991) was an American woman who was one of six patients purportedly infected with HIV by dentist David J. Acer who had the disease AIDS.[1] This incident is the first known case of clinical transmission of HIV.

Background

The eldest of three daughters, Bergalis was born in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania in 1968, where her family lived until moving to Florida in 1978. In 1985, she enrolled at the University of Florida and majored in business.

In December 1987, dentist Dr. David Acer removed two of Bergalis's molars. Acer was HIV-positive at the time, having been diagnosed that fall. In March 1989 Bergalis began to show symptoms of AIDS and was diagnosed with the disease in January 1990.[2] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) initial report[3] that she had likely acquired her infection from her dentist prompted Acer to write anopen letter requesting that his patients be tested for HIV infection. The Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services tested over 1000 patients, discovering two additional HIV-positive patients.[4] The CDC would eventually identify a total of ten HIV-positive former Acer patients, and link the infections of six to their dentist.[5]

CDC investigation

The CDC conducted a phylogenetic analysis of the DNA sequences of the viral envelope gene. The analysis revealed that the viral sequences from five patients, including Bergalis, were more closely related to the dentist's viral sequences than to those from local controls.[6] Later analyses identified another HIV-positive patient with a viral sequence closely related to Acer's.[7][8] Independent review of the CDC tests strengthened the case that Bergalis's HIV infection was linked to Acer.[5]

Political reaction

During the last months of her life, Bergalis' case was cited by some politicians and journalists as an example of a 'blameless' HIV infection that had been allowed to happen due to the CDC and the healthcare industry being overly responsive to the concerns of AIDS activists and the gay community. In an obituary, the National Review wrote that Bergalis

"...came to feel she had a special calling...to bring a glimmer of truth, however forlorn, into a debate characterized by confusion, denial, smugness, and suicidal self-indulgence... 'No sexual history' is how the jaded describe a chaste woman of 23 who, as Miss Bergalis explained to disbelieving interviewers, 'wanted to wait for marriage.' Marriage and its joys will never come for Kimberly Bergalis, but in her integrity and courage she affirmed that other things were also precious."[9]


Bergalis actively participated in several actions by congressmen to pass legislation restricting the activities of persons infected with HIV. Shortly before Bergalis's 1991 death, despite failing health, she testified before the Congress in support of a bill sponsored by Representative William Dannemeyermandating HIV tests for healthcare workers, and permitting doctors to test patients without their consent.[10]

Posthumous controversy

The time between Bergalis' dental procedure and the development of AIDS (24 months)[11] was short; 1% of infected homosexual/bisexual men[12] and 5% of infected transfusion recipients[13] develop AIDS within two years of infection.

In June 1994, CBS' 60 Minutes aired a program reporting that Bergalis was treated for genital warts, a sexually transmitted disease, and had shown her on videotape allegedly claiming to have had sex with two different men during her life. However, none of Bergalis' former boyfriends tested positive for HIV. In addition, the 60 Minutes anchors argued that the CDC may have botched the genetic tests that proved that Bergalis had the same strain of HIV as her dentist. The television broadcast was dismissed by CDC scientists as misleading and inaccurate.
[14] Stephen Barr, a journalist who contributed to the show, rebutted this dismissal.[15][16] Shortly after her death, a small park on Hutchinson Island South, Florida was renamed Kimberly Bergalis Park in her memory.

References

1. Lambert, Bruce (December 9, 1991). Kimberly Bergalis Is Dead at 23; Symbol of Debate Over AIDS Tests. New York Times
2. Johnson, Bonnie (1990-10-22). "A Life Stolen Early". People. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
3. CDC (1990). Morbid. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 39: 489. Missing or empty |title= (help)
4. "2 New AIDS Infections Deepen Florida Mystery". The New York Times. 1990-09-22. Retrieved2010-12-13.
5. ^ Jump up to:a b Hillis DM, Huelsenbeck JP (1994). Nature 369:24-5
6. Ou, Chin-Yih; et al. (1992). "Molecular epidemiology of HIV transmission in a dental practice". Science 256(5060): 1165–1171. doi:10.1126/science.256.5060.1165. JSTOR 2877255. PMID 1589796.
7. CDC (1991-01-18). "Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Update: Transmission of HIV Infection during an Invasive Dental Procedure -- Florida". Retrieved 2007-02-28.
8. CDC (1991-06-14). "Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Update: Transmission of HIV Infection During Invasive Dental Procedures --- Florida". Retrieved 2007-02-28.
9. Editorial staff (December 30, 1991). Kimberly Bergalis, R I P National Review
10. Hilts, Philip J. [1], The New York Times, September 27, 1991, accessed December 13, 2010.
11. CDC (1990-07-27). "Possible Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus to a Patient during an Invasive Dental Procedure". Retrieved 2007-02-28.
12. Lifson, A.R.; Hessol N., Rutherford G.; et al. (June 20–24, 1990). "Natural history of HIV infection in a cohort of homosexual and bisexual men: clinical and immunologic outcome". Vol. 1 VI International Conference on AIDS. San Francisco. p. 142.
13. Ward, J.R.; Bush T.J., Perkins, H.A.; et al. (1989). "The natural history of transfusion-associated infection with human immunodeficiency virus: factors influencing the rate of progression to disease". N Engl J Med321 (14): 947–52. doi:10.1056/NEJM198910053211406. PMID 2779617.
14. Ciesielski, C. A.; et al. (1994). "The 1990 Florida dental investigation, The press and the science". Ann Intern Med 121 (11): 886–88. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-121-11-199412010-00011. PMID 7978703.
15. Barr, Stephen (1996-01-15). "The 1990 Florida Dental Investigation: Is the Case Really Closed?". Annals of Internal Medicine 124 (2): 250–254. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-124-2-199601150-00009. ISSN 0003-4819. PMID 8534001. Retrieved 2007-02-28.
16. Brown, David (1996-01-15). "The 1990 Florida Dental Investigation: Theory and Fact". Annals of Internal Medicine 124 (2): 255–256. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-124-2-199601150-00010. ISSN 0003-4819.PMID 8534002. Retrieved 2007-02-28.
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