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AIDS Must Be Fought in the Mainstream

December 17, 1995

Regarding "A Howl of Anger" (Nov. 27): There are those in the AIDS arena who agree with many of Elinor Burkett's concerns and conclusions. It's no wonder she doesn't know of us. The pressure from "AIDS Inc." to silence us is shocking.

We are "rebels" who see that the rate of new infection and other data mean that the status quo in education, prevention and testing is not working.

For our efforts to deal with an epidemic that has far different ramifications as it moves steadily into the heterosexual world, we have been attacked by a number of "AIDS Inc." and activist folks.

What positions have we discussed that were so frightening? We favor mandatory testing of newborns and widespread frank education along the model of the California anti-smoking campaign. We advocate a general move to make AIDS testing and education offered at every medical contact point as a routine matter.

While we do not favor mandatory testing for anyone other than newborns, we do advocate routine voluntary testing on a regular basis for everyone. Clearly this takes AIDS out of the hands of a few and mainstreams it. But then, AIDS has entered the mainstream and there is where it must be fought.

MIKI JACKSON

MORRIS KIGHT

STEVEN J. McCARTHY

CONNIE NORMAN

MICHAEL WEINSTEIN

Editor's Note: Miki Jackson is founding president of Aunt Bee's Free of Charge Laundry and Housekeeping Service for People Living With AIDS. Morris Kight is involved with Christopher Street West, the Gay Liberation Front and other organizations. Steven J. McCarthy hosts the television show "DISH." Connie Norman hosts cable TV's "Gay and Lesbian Service News." Michael Weinstein is founder and president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

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