Bravo to Ted Vollmer on his article, “Anti-AIDS Forces Fire at Supervisors,” and bravo to Bruce Decker, co-chairperson of the AIDS Advisory Committee.
Vollmer’s article brought me a mixture of emotions. I felt livid at the incredible ignorance and tunnel vision of elected officials such as Schabarum. However, I also felt excessively elated at Dr. Martin Roth’s statement, that anyone who thinks that the purpose of the educational pamphlets, regarding drug use, was to promote drug use, “is a fool”!
Such blatant statements, both in the press and in educational material, should no longer be considered anything but absolutely necessary. The public needs to be aware, and if “explicit language and illustrations” are an effective way, or even provide a slight chance to educate the public, then I say good. Even if it means having our children learn about life a little earlier than we had hoped for--the worst it can do is save their life!
A friend of mine just recently found out that he “has been exposed” to the HTLV-III virus. Although there is no current reason to believe that he will actually come down with the disease, his future is now uncertain. Every little abnormality that happens to his body has now become a reason for fear--not only for him, but to us too, the people who love him.
He said to me, “If I had only known what to do to prevent myself from being exposed, I would have done so. I thought I was safe . . .” His life is such that he could easily be classified as safe, but the harsh reality is that he wasn’t and neither is any of us! We are all at some degree of risk, and denying that as a possibility is ignorance. His wish for education is a bit late, however still necessary. He has learned now, through this so-called “controversial anti-AIDS pamphlet” how not to spread the virus. We pray for him and everyone who has “been exposed.”
A close look at Vollmer’s article will disclose that the possibility currently exists that as much as 27% of AIDS patients are straight. Anyone who is reasonably intelligent can, and should, realize that by the mere numbers of straights versus gays combined with the rapid increase rate of AIDS patients, it will not be long before the number of straight patients outnumber those of gays. I foresee this to be so by the end of 1986.
The primary reason for this incredible increase is due to ignorance--ignorance due to the fact that the education has not been blatant enough. How many more thousands of people have to die before prudish ways are put aside and blatant educational methods are accepted in order to preserve our lives?
J. ALAN LUKES