Victim may help AIDS investigation

Sydney Morning Herald, 11 Jul 1983, p 3:

MELBOURNE. — Medical authorities hope to freeze some of the body tissue of a 43-year-old man who died at Prince Henry’s Hospital on Friday with suspected AIDS.

Identified only as Milton, the man is believed to be the first person in Australia to have died with Acquired Immunity Deficiency Syndrome. He had been a patient at the hospital for several weeks.

The Victorian Public Health Deputy Director, Dr Graham Rouch, said yesterday it was likely that the relatives of the dead man would be asked to approve a post-mortem examination. It was hoped some tissue could be taken and frozen for use in studies of the disease.

One of the main difficulties in dealing with AIDS has been the limited information available.

But there would be no question of putting pressure on the relatives, Dr Rouch said.

Little about the dead man is known, other than that he died of a severe viral infection.

The Health Minister. Mr Roper, said last night that although the man was being treated for depressed immunity, the case still had not been confirmed as AIDS.

Mr Roper said thai at least one of the signs common to AIDS did not appear to have been present among the dead man’s symptoms.

It is not known if the man was a homosexual.

Medical authorities emphasised that the man had contracted the disease in the US. where he lived for eight years.

(Also: ‘Approach to relatives likely for AIDS victim’s tissue‘, Canberra Times, 11 July 1983, p 1; ‘Freeze plan on AIDS victim‘, The Sun (Melbourne), 11 July 1983, p 2.)

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