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AIDS and the Movies

April 04, 1993

"When this innocent child died, I think everybody realized (AIDS) was something that could come into your own home" is director Joel Schumacher's statement regarding Ryan White's death to AIDS.

My problem with this statement is in his use of the word innocent , implying that in this special case White was not at fault since he did not know he was being infected with HIV. In other words, the source of infection was not a sexually transmitted one.

Somehow the implication is that sexual transmission of HIV somehow involves a certain degree of guilt even though back in the early 1980s homosexual men did not know they were spreading the disease.

The use of the words innocent victim is a subtle innuendo suggesting that in the past, sexual activities are clearly an indication of a person's guilt in the spread of AIDS.

MICHAELJOHN HORNE

West Hollywood

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