Candidates must talk about AIDSIt is estimated that more...

the Forum

June 24, 1992

Candidates must talk about AIDS

It is estimated that more than 120 million people will be infected with the AIDS virus by the years 2000. Most will die of the disease.

At present, more than 1.1 million Americans are believed to be infected with the AIDS virus. Some 218,000 Americans presently have symptoms of the AIDS infection. All of these Americans will eventually die of the disease, and 141,223 Americans have already died from the AIDS epidemic.

We cannot deny that the AIDS epidemic is a national emergency. The expected death toll and the associated economic and emotional cost of the disease will be both tragic and staggering. Of major concern is that no presidential candidate has sought to address the AIDS issue.

The AIDS issue is not discussed because there is no good news and the available statistics are too depressing for the American voter. There is no cure and no vaccine to prevent its spread.

AIDS must be declared a national crisis. We need to put the country in a wartime posture to stop the spread of the disease and to develop effective medical care plans to prolong the lives of Americans already infected with the virus. I'll vote for the candidate with enough political courage to make the AIDS epidemic a major campaign issue.

Michael J. Bosse, M.D.

Baltimore

The writer is associate professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Are high school athletes favored over non-athlete scholar?

I have been paying close attention to a variety of reports on the problems and decline of primary and secondary education in Maryland as well as throughout the country.

A plethora of reasons have been given and analyzed as contributing to this sad development.

Although a lot of effort by many local school districts, local governments, teachers groups, parents groups, the private sector and others has been invested in improving the situation, a lot of contradictions and paradoxes still remain.

In the past year or so, I have had an opportunity to interact with a dedicated young man who has just graduated from a Frederick County high school, at the top of his class. Perhaps an initial brief description of this young man's accomplishments will help illustrate my point.

He has earned all A's during his past four years in high school, with the exception of a B that he received in a physical education class in his freshman year. He took all the toughest courses his school could offer, including the natural, physical and social sciences courses. An advanced placement scholar, he also took college level courses and passed with very high grades. He also excelled in academic competitions held outside the school.

This young man then applied to colleges including the California Institute of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton, Johns Hopkins and Duke universities and the University of Maryland.

He hopes to major in physics and mathematics. The first three colleges turned him down. The last three accepted him without any scholarship offer.

This puzzles me. I have seen and read about many high school athletes who have excelled in their respective sports in high school to the same degree that this young man has excelled in his pursuits. I do not believe that they encounter problems being accepted into the colleges of their choice and receiving some scholarship. Perhaps it is a cliche to suggest that there is a serious problem in the system. In this case, a problem of benign neglect? Or is the system subtly suggesting to the non-athlete in high school that his accomplishments are not as valuable?

If there is indeed an overall decline in the quality of high school education (and we are concerned about it), then why do we fail to offer scholarships to this young man? Why don't we publicize such accomplishments, using television, print media and other means to encourage similar positive results from other high school students?

I am, therefore, not convinced that our society has fully realized that there are some serious problems in our schools. Or, if we have, I am not convinced that we realize that investing in our children's education should be one of our top priorities.

Cleopas T. Samudzi, Ph.D

Frederick

Bias against youth

Many Ocean City Realtors practice illegal age discrimination against young adults. These Realtors refuse to rent to 18-year-old high school graduates, college students and college graduates in their early twenties.

Many Realtors will rent only to married individuals. This is discrimination against the unmarried. It makes no sense to rent to a 23-year-old married person but refuse to rent to a 24-year-old single person.

Once a person reaches the age of 18, that person is legally responsible for his or her own actions. A person of 18 years is old enough to enter into a contract, vote and be drafted into the Army. If 18 is old enough to die in the Persian Gulf, it is certainly old enough to enjoy a week in Ocean City without being discriminated against by Realtors.

Shawn Blair

Lutherville

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