The No-Futures Market, by Harper’s Staff

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From a series of “confidential case histories” of AIDS patients prepared in June by Life Partners, a Waco, Texas, company. The company acts as an agent for investors seeking to buy insurance policies of people with AIDS. The policyholder typically is paid 70 percent of his or her policy’s benefit; the investor collects the full amount of the policy when the original policyholder dies. The case histories, which include the policyholder’s T-cell count—a figure that indicates how well the body’s immune system is functioning—are prepared by Life Partners for potential investors.

Applicant: —
Insurance Carrier: Hartford Insurance Group
T-cell Count: 101
Life Expectancy: 6-9 months
Purchase Price: $165,735
Death Benefit: $190,500

SUMMARY OF MEDICAL HISTORY

Applicant is a forty-two-year-old male first diagnosed HIV-positive in January 1990, at which time he was also diagnosed with full-blown AIDS. Applicant has experienced a wide range of common AIDS-related illnesses, including PCP, thrush, herpes, bacterial infections, venereal warts, hepatitis, and candidiasis, as well as breathing problems and visual problems. Applicant is currently being treated with AZT, DDI, and related experimental medications.

Applicant: — Insurance Carrier: Savings Bank Life Fund
T-cell Count: 70
Life Expectancy: 12-24 months
Purchase Price: $164,000
Death Benefit: $200,000

SUMMARY OF MEDICAL HISTORY

Applicant is a forty-five-year-old male first diagnosed HIV-positive in 1987. Applicant was diagnosed with full-blown AIDS on March 10, 1992. Applicant has experienced thrush, toxoplasmosis, hepatitis B, and arthralgia, as well as depression, fatigue, and weakness. Applicant is being treated with AZT and DDI.

Applicant: —
Insurance Carrier: Provident Life and Accident
T-cell Count: 22
Life Expectancy: 9-15 months
Purchase Price: $45,063
Death Benefit: $53,016

SUMMARY OF MEDICAL HISTORY

Applicant is a thirty-four-year-old male first diagnosed HIV-positive in 1989, at which time he was also diagnosed with full-blown AIDS. Applicant has experienced (and continues to experience) herpes simplex, chronic recurrent bronchitis, bilateral severe peripheral neuropathy, and progressive weight loss. On June 14,1990, applicant was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, and it was noted that applicant lost thirty-eight pounds in four months. Since August 1991, applicant has developed progressive myalgia, which is not relieved by non- steroidal anti-inflammatories, Applicant started treatment with DDI in October 1991, when he was diagnosed with Raynaud’s phenomena.

Applicant: — Insurance Carrier: Prudential Life
T-cell Count: 50
Life Expectancy: 9-15 months
Purchase Price: $30,600
Death Benefit: $36,000

SUMMARY OF MEDICAL HISTORY

Applicant is a forty-one-year-old male first diagnosed HIV-positive on October 10, 1991, at which time he was also diagnosed with full- blown AIDS and CMV retinitis. Applicant has also experienced visual problems, chills, night sweats, and chronic fever, but has had no other major AIDS-related diseases yet. Applicant is being treated with AZT, and his prognosis is classified as “poor” due to his low T- cell count.


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