HELMS ACTS UP

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Saying that the "deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct" of AIDS patients causes the illness, Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) called for a reduction infederal funding for AIDS.As expiration nears for the $880 million Ryan White Care Act of 1990, which provides money for AIDS treatment, Helms said the disease consumes a disproportionate amount of federal funding, considering that it is only the ninth leading cause of death in the U.S. Helms denies accusations that he is trying to stop reauthorization of the White Act altogether. Reaction was swift from Jeanne White-Ginder, the mother of the act's namesake, an Indiana teenager who died after contracting AIDS as a result of a blood transfusion. "He seems to want to blame people with AIDS for being sick. I wonder if he feels the same about Americans dying of cancer because they smoke?" Helms, who had quadruple heart bypass surgery in 1992, said he was only trying "to get some equity for people who have had heart trouble."