To the editors:

I do not intend to dismiss or belittle the suffering of people who have had a beloved one succumb to cancer, or the people who are currently suffering from cancer or any other disease. I hear people say that AIDS is not important, but the point should be made that, unlike certain types of cancer, the afflicted part of the body cannot be removed. AIDS is your entire body. Overall, the survival rate of cancer is much higher than AIDS because people have lived to talk about it. There are no survivors of AIDS.

AIDS is a serious threat because there is no indication of how widespread it is in the heterosexual segment of society. It is not taken seriously. The effect on the homosexual segment is well documented. The majority of the victims are homosexual and because they are so hated, because they are such a threat, their voices, when united, are so often stifled. That is the reason for ACT UP [“The Angriest Queer,” August 17]. Those “pesky queers” and all their headline grabbing!

People will flock to the grocery store to buy a bag of oat bran but will be casual in their attitude towards AIDS prevention. The increasing numbers of victims will probably be young heterosexuals in the years to come. An advocacy group made up of mostly heterosexuals will be formed and will angrily push for a cure for AIDS, making it a legitimate concern. Doesn’t it sound familiar?

As a heterosexual, I know what it is like to be a minority among my homosexual friends. Rarely does it seem a heterosexual will stand up and support a homosexual. I consider the threat of AIDS to affect me as equally as it does them. I witness and feel the hatred towards them and it is directed towards me, also. Hatred clouds solutions and just finds excuses.

K. Rodriguez