The Jan. 23 letter "Return to a Realistic AIDS Policy" by Geraldine Kamrass is misguided and unrealistic. The writer believes we should continue to exclude HIV-positive foreigners from entry to the United States. She says she has one question, "Who is going to supervise the immigrants and follow travelers around to make sure they are not engaging in sexual activities or exchanging needles with uninfected U.S. citizens?"
My answer to her is that it is only the individual citizen's responsible behavior and not the government that can provide protection to any citizen from HIV transmission. My question is, does Geraldine Kamrass really think a system that is ineffective in protecting citizens from illegal drugs will fare any better in "protecting" us from HIV transmission simply by having the authority to exclude entry of HIV-positive foreigners?
Unless an individual has an active AIDS-related disease or has evidence of the ravages of these diseases, the only way to detect HIV infection is with a blood test. It is neither feasible nor justifiable to test the blood of every person entering the United States.
The current regulation to exclude HIV-positive persons is of no benefit to public health. Its only effect is to cause human suffering. Most HIV-positive individuals carry on relatively normal, productive lives. To prevent these people from visiting beloved friends or family in this country, or to conduct business, is nothing less than ludicrous and cruel.
Let's make sure that the proposal to remove HIV infection from the immigration exclusion list becomes fact. What we need is a policy that is reasonable and rational, not one that is irrational, unnecessary and cruel.
ALLEN ROTZ Washington