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BE ACCURATE ON CAUSES OF AIDS

Your May 5 article fails to make an important, if not crucial, distinction in interpreting AIDS demographics. The lead of the story, "Homosexual relations is the leading cause of AIDS in Utah," gives the dangerous impression that being gay causes AIDS. A more responsible and accurate lead would have read, "Unsafe sex between men is the leading cause of AIDS in Utah."

Likewise, when the article discusses intravenous drug use, a misleading impression is given that the drug use per se is the cause of AIDS: "About 17 percent of Utah's AIDS patients got the disease from intravenous drug use, compared to 25 percent nationally." No mention is given that it is the sharing of tainted needles, rather than the use of drugs, which allows the virus to spread.As the nation faces its 15th year of the AIDS epidemic, we must not forget that accurate information about prevention is the only known cure for this disease.

Denny Lee

Assistant media relations director

American Civil Liberties Union