You published a front page story July 23 headlined "Doctors were wrong: She didn't have AIDS virus." If you felt a journalistic ,, responsibility to report on AIDS, information from the Eighth International AIDS Conference should have been on page one, not page 12. The front page story received more coverage.
The details of this case are not available and, therefore, it is impossible to see exactly where the error was made.
It is clear that stories such as this one are not beneficial to HIV/AIDS prevention. All people at risk for infections should be encouraged to be tested, not scared away from testing.
Randy S. Berger M.D.
The writer is director of the AIDS division of the Baltimore County Health Department.
Does Phyllis Brill know something that I don't? In her July 20 article about an AIDS victim from Bel Air, Ms. Brill says, "Ginger Bowen never thought it could happen to her . . . She didn't do drugs, didn't have a bi-sexual lover, didn't live in the inner city."
Has living in the "inner city" been determined a means of contracting the AIDS virus?
Presumably, what the writer meant to say was that certain
behavior that contributes to the spread of AIDS, such as unhygienic intravenous drug use and sex without condoms, is more prevalent among inner-city residents than suburbanites.
There are enough myths and misrepresentations regarding AIDS without adding life in the inner city to the list.
Additionally, as an inner-city resident and worker, I resent the pejorative use of this term.
We are all too quick to use "inner city" when finding fault with, placing blame on or characterizing the victims of urban problems facing us. As a result, the "inner city" becomes a big, unpersonalized "problem" that we easily dismiss as not our concern.
I can assure you that the inner city is a collection of people, businesses and organizations that engage in a wide variety of behavior, some but not all of which may result in spreading AIDS, just like some residents of the suburbs. Start spreading the facts, not myths.
I would like to respond to Christyne Neff's letter, "Bizarre Coverage," July 22. Everyone knows that the issue of abortion has divided America, and there are people who feel strongly on both sides.
The pro-choicers say they are fighting for the rights of women. The pro-lifers say they are fighting for all unborn, yet alive children. Clearly we cannot find middle ground on this issue.
I think it comes down to whose life is being affected the most by an abortion. I do not think that either side has done a good job considering what the other side has to say, or trying to understand where the other side is coming from.
What I found most disturbing about Ms. Neff's letter was her terminology. She called the pro-life demonstrator "anti-choice." The pro-life people are not anti-choice. I can say this with truth because I am pro-life myself, and I am involved in the pro-life
movement. We are all for choices -- choices that do not involve killing innocent life.
So let's not change the words around. I will call her pro-choice because that is what she believes she is fighting for. Even if I personally believe she is wrong, I will not call her anti-life.
I will respect her and call her pro-choice because I think that this issue has divided America enough. There are enough barriers. Let's not get ugly about this issue. Let's try to understand each other.
In response to Walter Boyd's letter asserting Ross Perot is a wimp (July 22), I fail to see the warrant for such a label.
Contrary to Mr. Boyd's accusation, Mr. Perot did not lie to the American people. He did not promise "no new taxes" and then raise them. He did not dodge the draft or "exhale" on a joint.
He did, however, state that he would run if placed on all 50 state ballots. This did not take place and therefore he elected to bow out. Cowardice? No. Prudent? Yes.
You see, unlike the other political manikins in the race, Mr. Perot knows his political limits. He read what was attainable and opted to step down for the good of the entire race.
His run may have been short, but how refreshing it was to have a race where a candidate who speaks on business and values is able to do so without the aid of some lip synchronizer holding a cue card by a monitor.
Ross Perot is by no definition a wimp.
Quite the contrary.
For the resurgence Mr. Perot put back into this mundane race a better title for him should be "unsung hero."
Dose of Reality
Campaign for Our Children is giving America's teens just the dose of reality they need ("Ad urges teens to delay sex, stresses AIDS threat," The Sun, July 8).
I have to admit, the first time I saw their huge billboard along the side of I-95 with the word "virgin" ("Teach your children it's not a dirty word"), splashed across it in bright red spray paint, I blushed.