Michael Kinsley's July 9 column "The End of the AIDS Crisis" is characteristically iconoclastic, well written and full of errors.
He says, for example, that "it is clear beyond all doubt that AIDS cannot be spread by non-sexual personal contact."
Beyond all doubt? While scientists and doctors continue to probe the various methods of AIDS transmission, making new discoveries and updating the public knowledge, Michael Kinsley feels confident in making such an ex cathedra pronouncement?
We don't know the whole truth about AIDS transmission yet, but what we do know indicates that Mr. Kinsley is wrong. It is certainly possible that direct blood contact between two people, when one of them is an AIDS victim, can transmit the disease to the other, as evidenced by the well-publicized cases of hospital workers' contracting AIDS through contact with an infected patient's blood.
"Anyone who is chaste before marriage, monogamous within marriage and avoids illegal drugs is at virtually no risk," Mr. Kinsley proclaims. False again. If a woman who fits the above-mentioned criteria marries a man with a high-risk past, her health is clearly jeopardized. This is one reason we support premarital testing.
We have said from the outset that AIDS policy should be governed by three considerations: 1. determination to find a cure as soon as possible; 2. treatment and compassion toward the victims; and 3. protection of citizens who don't have the disease. Mr. Kinsley's implication that conservatives don't care about people dying of AIDS, or that Americans won't pay attention to the plight of AIDS sufferers in a year or so, is just plain wrong. GARY L. BAUER Assistant to the President for Policy Development Washington