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AIDS Victims, Discrimination

July 15, 1986

The only thing I would add to the excellent editorial is a clarification, because when you say "Behavior must be changed" many readers will assume, incorrectly, that you are suggesting that homosexuals stop going to bed with each other. What you are actually advising is the curtailment of specific acts that could transmit the virus, and you are encouraging monogamy among gays to replace the widespread promiscuity that flourished in the gay community in the past.

The important word here is "past," because great numbers of gay people have already become quite conservative in their sexual behavior; indeed, many are now entirely celibate, choosing to put that aspect of their lives on hold while AIDS research continues.

What The Times' editorial only implies is that monogamous relationships are best for everyone, gay and straight alike. Nor does it take the next logical step and advise that marriages between homosexuals be recognized and encouraged. What single event, beyond a full cure, could more quickly change the long-term proliferation of this virus in the gay community than the immediate acceptance of marriage between gays?

It's late, yes, but certainly not too late to take an important step in this war against AIDS by immediately encouraging monogamy and legalizing marriage between gays, recognizing that they are people like everyone else and deserve equal , not special, treatment.

RONALD D. HARDCASTLE

Los Angeles

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