Like so many of us, I have so many mixed feelings about this dreadful disease, AIDS. We know so much about everything, and yet so little about some things. We are so powerful in our world, but helpless in our universe.

Patrice Gaines-Carter solved no problems with her story about Bernhart Mingia {"A Death in the Family," Outlook, Aug. 9}. Nothing new was revealed about a cure for the disease. No contribution was offered for the continuing discussion about safe sex or homosexuality or the ongoing debate about condom advertising on television. Patrice Gaines-Carter made all of those issues seem so trivial.

Bernhart Mingia's story is about one guy. It's a tragic story, but it depicts the many tragedies that are occurring every day. I do not know that my life will take on a permanent change because of it, but, without question, the story has caused me to pause, and think.

HANK COHAN

Gaithersburg

Patrice Gaines-Carter should be commended for her touching portrayal of fellow worker Bernhart Mingia's losing battle with the AIDS virus. I have never been more moved by a story.

What a delicate and realistic approach the writer took on such a saddening, touchy, media-filled issue. I am sure many could identify with the sadness experienced, whether male or female, gay or straight, married or single.

Her tone was compassionate and sensitive. Fortunately, in a world so full of people who are quick to judge and criticize, there are still professionals like Patrice Gaines-Carter who care and respect regardless of circumstance.

KEITH C. GULDALIAN

Washington

Patrice Gaines-Carter's article brought to memory many of my experiences with an acquaintance who died at George Washington University Hospital on May 1. She appears to share my high regard for the medical staffs at the hospitals that are treating AIDS patients. I am not referring to the doctors and researchers who grab the headlines, but the nurses and medical techs who have hour-to-hour charge of the suffering. These extraordinary people are on the front lines. Their story hasn't been told yet; it needs to be.

BRUCE A. COHEN

Washington