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Progress Against Aids Not Good For Business

Thu., July 18, 1996, midnight

A company that buys life insurance policies from the terminally ill, giving them a source of upfront cash, will suspend the practice because new developments in treating AIDS could hurt profits.

Dignity Partners Inc. of San Francisco was among the first companies to offer the discounted payments for the right to collect a policy’s full benefits after a client’s death.

In announcing the change on Tuesday, the company cited medical developments such as the recent success of treatments that reduce levels of the AIDS virus to undetectable levels.

While such developments are “welcome news for many, if the treatments are effective in the long term, the company’s results will be adversely affected,” Dignity officials said.

The company noted that more than 95 percent of its business involved policies held by people with AIDS or infected by the AIDS virus.

There was no indication Wednesday whether Dignity will stay in business; company officials did not return calls.

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