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Fighting AIDS

October 18, 1985

The health of our citizens is an increasing area of our concern. Personal health habits play a key role. Development of the Pill and antibiotics seem to separate the risks of personal sexual habits from the concern over their health consequences. AIDS has forced us to reevaluate.

Public health officials have recently given advice hoping to reduce the risk of AIDS in our population. They have assumed that promiscuous sexual activities will flourish and measures need to be taken to decrease the risk of spread. The effectiveness of these measures remains debatable.

The elimination of the disease is in mutual monogamous heterosexual sexual relationships. No one debates this. Why don't we promote it? Why can't we have the U.S. Surgeon General report on the risk of multiple sex partners? Some feel the public won't respond.

I disagree. Look what has happened to the risk of heart attacks with the Surgeon General's report on smoking, the efforts of the American Heart Assn. and other health agencies. The religious organizations that effectively promote lower risk by eliminating smoking and alcohol, namely, the Mormons and Adventists, have shown us that religious organizations can achieve health benefits.

Let us learn from these efforts and let us let our religious organizations, governments, and others speak out for the benefits of monogamous sex. Let's not be afraid to promote the ideal; Paul, Moses, and Jesus were not!

JOHN W. ALLEN MD

Los Angeles

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