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Gay Pediatrician

December 10, 1987

Regarding Dr. Robert Huse, the gay pediatrician who is suffering from AIDS ("The Plight of a Gay Pediatrician" by Beverly Beyette, Nov. 30), I was amazed that a parent told your newspaper "I'd like to crucify him." My God, the city of Mesquite, Tex., already has!

As a parent of a 4-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl, I of course want my children to be as healthy and happy as possible. As a caring human being, I am concerned about the threat of AIDS. And, as much as I have come to cringe at the often misused word, I am a Christian, and as a Christian, I could never treat a fellow human being, especially a person with AIDS, in such a barbaric, un-Christian manner.

My kid brother, Tommy, would have been 31 this month if he hadn't died of AIDS last September. During most of his 19-month illness, one of the few joys of his numbered days was to visit us and to play with his niece and nephew. We could never deprive him of the love, support and understanding all people with AIDS deserve, and we could never deprive our kids of Tommy's love for them. Karen Lee and Kevin were never in any danger of catching the disease from their uncle, even when they hugged and kissed him. You just don't catch AIDS that way!

In the case of Huse, a pediatrician with a bad cold is more of a health threat to his young patients than a pediatrician with AIDS.

There is just no excuse for the kind of hysteria to which the people of Mesquite are subjecting themselves. A caring, intelligent human being will try to understand the problem; he can read up on the subject, ask questions (no matter how dumb), listen, think, and hopefully, learn. An ignorant, uncaring person does none of these things. But he can get hysterical, can discriminate, and can destroy the lives and careers of people with AIDS. That is not only un-Christian, it is downright criminal.

We should all be concerned about AIDS, but when that justifiable concern turns into blinding, irrational fear, it can be almost as bad as the disease itself.

WARREN J. AVERY

Los Angeles

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