Between 1985, when William M. Hoffman's drama "As Is" opened on Broadway, and May 1987, when it opened in Washington at the Studio Theatre, scientists had learned a great deal about the nature and transmission of AIDS. Hoffman decided that adjustments were necessary to update the text, which chronicles the pressures placed on a young gay couple -- Saul, a photographer, and his poet lover Rich -- when they discover that Rich has AIDS.

Among the changes: The possibility that Saul, though apparently healthy, might have been the carrier through whom Rich contracted AIDS wasn't even considered in 1985:

Rich: "Aren't you afraid I'll infect you?"

Saul: "Yes, I'm afraid." Hoffman rewrote the passage to read:

Rich: "Aren't you afraid I'll infect you?"

Saul: "Maybe you already have . . . Maybe I gave it to you."

The line "Looks like they're going to have a vaccine soon" became the somewhat less optimistic, "I read that they're working on a vaccine." Place names have been altered to reflect the closings of once-popular gay hangouts -- "the baths," for instance, became "bars," since there are virtually no gay bathhouses left in New York. An AIDS hotline worker now gives very specific advice regarding what constitutes "safe sex." A passage that begins, "The first time I heard about AIDS . . ." and has various characters reminiscing, has been extended by the line: "Since that time I've been to, how many memorial services . . ." followed by a lengthy list of names -- a moment that is perhaps the most wrenching in the entire evening.