C Origin Points to Possible Military Link
Breaking News News Keywords: ASKEL5@HOTMAIL.COM
Times (via Hep C Info 3)
Published: Sneak Preview 11/26/99 Author: Ed Wendt
Posted on 11/27/1999 09:13:31 PST by Askel5
C Origin Points to Possible Military Link
RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT
VIETNAM ERA EXPERIMENTS
Copyright 1999 by Forward Times
obtained by Forward Times under the Freedom of Information
Act, for an investigation of the hepatitis C epidemic, reveal
that U.S. servicemen were used to test experimental vaccines
while they were in Basic Combat Training during the Vietnam
to the request by the Department of Defense indicate that
soldiers at major U.S. military training bases during the late
1960s and 1970s were used to test vaccines for spinal
meningitis and other diseases.
not Hepatitis C, was a serious medical condition for military
personnel during the Vietnam War. Thousands of
servicemen contracted the disease and the Pentagon was
determined to do something about it to resolve a drain on
Times, under the Freedom of Information Act, requested the
Any information, documents, research reports, and records
pertaining to experimental and/or test vaccines administered
to trainees in Basic Combat Training at Fort Leonard Wood,
Missouri in 1970 for spinal Meningitis and hepatitis.
The criteria in which trainees were selected for said
vaccines, and details of any follow up done by the Department
of the Army on the soldiers who participated in the
Any studies and research on Hepatitis C contracted by soldiers
in the United States Army.
information on studies and research on Hepatitis C were sought
in response to fears by some veterans that Hepatitis C could
have evolved from Pentagon experiments on servicemen to find a
vaccine for hepatitis during the Vietnam War.
Department of Defense responded to the Forward Times request
only after intervention by U.S. Representative Gene Green,
Pentagon revealed that the Office of the Surgeon General of
the Army established a "hepatitis C registry" during
the early 1990s.
the Department of Defense, according to the response,
"discontinued the hepatitis C virus diseases registry on
October 21, 1993 after concluding that the "infection
rates among Army personnel were low, about one percent."
to the response, the Pentagon concluded "that hepatitis C
did not constitute a significant drain on either personnel or
medical resources. The Department of Defense admitted
that "the registry was neither complete nor a truly
response, written by Anne Johnson-Winegar, stated that the
original intent of the registry was to:
"Maintain a list of individuals who had tested positive
for hepatitis C virus antibodies in order to evaluate
"Track the natural progression of hepatitis C virus and
infection and disease in soldiers and other
"Attempt to assess the impact of hepatitis C virus
disease on military personnel and readiness."
"Establish a database of infected persons who could be
followed over time."
was collected from May 1990 through October 1993," said
Johnson-Winegar. "Data was collected from medical
treatment facility blood banks and clinical laboratories, from
prevention medicine services, and from the references at WRAIR.
The reporting of patient data by the preventative medicine
services was mandated by OTSG, but compliance varied from post
to post. In the absence of patient data from
preventative medical resources, only hepatitis C virus
antibody tests results were known for an individual."
the Pentagon disbanded the hepatitis C registry for military
personnel in 1993, after concluding that the infection rate
was only one percent, recent studies indicate that military
veterans have the highest hepatitis C rate in the nation.
by the American Liver Foundation show that 1.8 percent of the
U.S. population is Hepatitis C positive. Twelve to 14
percent of those infected are veterans.
at 3.2 percent, are the largest infected ethnic group,
followed by Mexican-Americans with 2.1 percent, and 1.5
percent for whites.
than four million Americans have hepatitis C. It is
estimated that 300,000 of those who have tested positive
contracted the virus through blood transfusions they received
officials are being urged to mobilize health resources to
educate the public on hepatitis C. Houston City Council,
among other agencies, is being targeted to adopt education and
outreach programs on the virus.
governor of New York recently signed into law Assembly Bill
86868. The legislation directs the commissioner of health to
develop educational materials on diagnosis, treatment and
prevention of hepatitis C for health care professionals and
persons at high risk.
C warriors are urging other political subdivisions, including
the city of Houston, to adopt similar measures.
reveal that the Houston Health Department is doing very little
to educate the public on hepatitis C.
organizations throughout the nation are mobilizing to combat
hepatitis C and to lobby governmental entities to launch an
all-out war against the disease.
veteran victims are concerned that Vietnam Era soldiers, who
received blood transfusions for wounds on the frontlines of
the war, may have contacted the virus through contaminated
transfusions and spread the disease upon returning home and
becoming part of society.
C was not identified until 1989. However, blood samples
of American servicemen taken in 1948 were recently reviewed
during a study. Those samples detected the hepatitis C virus.
like New York, is cracking down on hepatitis C. A California
Senate hearing recently revealed that little action has been
taken by the state to stop the spread of the killer virus
which is expected to kill more people than AIDS.
for Disease Control statistics provided to the panel revealed
groups are more at
risk for hepatitis C.
statistics show that California ranks first in the hepatitis C
prevalence rate. Texas ranks second, New York ranks
third, and Florida ranks fourth.
prevented to the panel indicated that if detected early
enough, about 40 percent of hepatitis C patients successfully
respond to treatment. However, most infected people are
not aware that they have hepatitis C until irreversible liver
damage has occurred.
studies concluded that even for those who do not respond to
treatment, it is important that they become aware, because
there are interventions that can significantly slow down the
progression of hepatitis C damage to the liver by abstaining
from drinking alcoholic beverages and making sure they are
immunized to protect from hepatitis A and B.