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AIDS Laws Reflect Gap in Knowledge


To the Editor:

You write (front page, Sept. 25) that recent laws affecting H.I.V.-infected people have shifted from focusing on civil liberties to laws intended to "protect the public."

Most of the legislation has been enacted without consulting groups that represent H.I.V.-infected people. The shift occurs at a time when public knowledge of issues regarding H.I.V. is declining, and the majority of newly infected people are women and members of racial and other minority groups.

It is imperative that AIDS advocacy groups, representing the rights and concerns of the H.I.V.-infected, be invited to participate in the drafting of any legislation that affects them. We must not allow the politics of fear to prevail over rational measures that prevent the spread of this disease.


Berkeley, Calif., Sept. 26, 1998


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Information in this article was accurate in September 29, 1998. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.