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Differing With Futurist

December 01, 1985

Edward Cornish's column spells out for us the effect of AIDS on our future life styles. Many of his comments, though couched in a matter-of-fact tone, are questionable speculations, some valid, others not. For instance, Cornish claims that "homosexuals" are prone to AIDS "largely because of the great frequency with which they change sexual partners," though he neglects to mention that female homosexuals, long noted for their lack of promiscuity, are statistically less likely to contract AIDS than heterosexual men or women.

Undoubtedly Cornish is correct when he foresees a return to sexual discretion by the populace. Yet he warns that AIDS will "alter . . . the clothing we wear" and that all public institutions will have to take account for "this scourge."

But after more than half a decade of research, medical authorities--and sheer common sense--remind us that if going to restaurants, entertainment centers, religious and educational gatherings posed such a grave threat to public health, this country would now have not 15,000 cases, but many millions and a tenfold number of carriers. Let us remember, that though multiplying, this terrible disease isn't some sort of "Andromeda Strain" or bubonic plague, destined to turn us all into moon-suited, alienated and anxious shut-ins.

Moreover, Cornish envisions that "a new interest in traditional religious practice is likely," though any relationship between orthodoxy and AIDS is unclear to say the least.

The paranoia and illogic such distortions can produce often block public compassion for the AIDS-afflicted and only add to their pain.

AARON C. TAYLOR

West Los Angeles

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