D.C. Council member John Ray (D-At Large) proposed yesterday easing the District's ban on denying insurance to persons who test positive for exposure to the AIDS virus, but neither insurance companies nor homosexual activists support the measure.

Virtually all insurance companies have stopped issuing new individual policies in the District since August 1986 when the law -- the most stringent such measure in the country -- took effect. The Senate approved an amendment to the D.C. budget bill in September denying federal funds to the District after Dec. 31 if the AIDS insurance law is not repealed, but the amendment is subject to possible revision or rejection by a Senate-House conference committee.

Under Ray's bill, insurers would be able to deny life or disability insurance policies of more than $100,000 to persons who test positive for exposure to AIDS. For life insurance of less than $100,000 and for health insurance, rates could be raised or insurance denied for persons who test positive if the D.C. superintendent of insurance approves the action based on experience or "sound actuarial principles," the bill says.

"We think the best thing the council could do is repeal the {present} law," said Lawrence Mirel, executive director of the D.C. Insurance Federation, a trade association of insurance companies. "We'll have to look at {the new Ray bill} very carefully and ask a lot of questions to see whether it's good enough. We're not sure at all that the companies would be willing to come back to the District if the bill passes."

Stephen Smith, chairman of the Metropolitan Washington Committee on AIDS Issues, which sought the original council law, also said he is not sure if Ray's new proposal is satisfactory.

"If it's going to be implemented to make anybody testing positive for the {AIDS} antibodies uninsurable, there would be no interest in this from our point of view," Smith said. "There's no way to know how the superintendent of insurance would act or how a reviewing court would act . . . . There's a lot of uncertainty here that frankly makes us nervous."

In discussions over the past year Ray has sought to find common ground between the homosexual activists and the insurance companies for amendments to the law, he has said. Yesterday both sides said Ray outlined his proposal in a meeting with the groups in late October.

Smith said "there were a lot of questions on both sides" but no endorsement.

Ray did not make the exact text of the bill available until yesterday. His spokeswoman, Margaret Gentry, said the council member was not available for comment.

The bill was passed by the council unanimously in an effort to prevent discrimination against persons exposed to the AIDS virus. It does permit insurance to be denied to those exhibiting symptoms of the disease.

"All the evidence shows that half of those with the virus come down with the disease in five years," Mirel said, "and the disease itself is fatal. That's a very high risk for something that's fatal. What do you charge somebody like that for a $100,000 {life insurance} policy? Ten thousand dollars a year? We don't think anybody is going to offer anything like that or buy it."

The Senate measure, offered by Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), was passed as an amendment to the D.C. budget bill for fiscal 1988. No similar measure has been passed by the House.