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Series on AIDS

March 27, 1994

* Gabriel Rotello's two-part article "Perspective on AIDS" (Commentary, March 9-10) is a candid and rare departure on the grim realities of AIDS that the gay community has, for the large part, stubbornly chosen to ignore while publicly proclaiming otherwise.

The costs of AIDS to gay men and lesbians have become too high. First, HIV, the spread of which gays have an enormous amount of control over if they so choose, has taken emotional and fund-raising precedence over the traditional civil rights issues of child custody, job/housing and partner rights.

AIDS in the gay community does not just "happen"--it is the predictable outcome of denial being practiced on the grandest of scales, co-opting the gay liberation movement into an AIDS movement and giving yet more fodder to right-wing religious hysteria. Finger-pointing at the government for not having discovered a cure for AIDS (unlikely no matter what anybody says) and clamoring for even more dollars make about as much sense as having alcoholics lobbying the government for a cure against cirrhosis so that they can continue to abuse alcohol.

Are we who argue for responsible sexuality, whether gay, lesbian or straight, the ones who are homophobic, or is it those whose rejection of moderation has resulted in a historically unique form of mass suicide?

MONIQUE BRYHER

Tarzana

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