DEAR ABBY: You cannot repeat often enough that AIDS is transmitted only through blood contact, contaminated needles or unprotected sexual contact. My lover died of an AIDS-related illness in September, after being cared for by me for 28 months.
His sister, who lives nearby, had rejected him upon learning of his illness. She refused to visit him in the intensive care unit for fear of getting AIDS and passing it to her children!Her letter to him, saying she would cherish their happy memories as brother and sister, arrived too late. Although she really adored him, she was totally uninformed about his illness.
Abby, no one was in danger of contracting AIDS from him. His former wife and son came from afar to show their love and hold his hand. I still test negative after four years of "safe" intimacy with him.
Perhaps this letter will help others to avoid heartbreak, remorse and recrimination. - BEREAVED IN TEXAS
DEAR BEREAVED: How sad that your lover's sister was unaware that according to the Centers for Disease Control, there is NO EVIDENCE that AIDS can be spread by touching, hugging or body contact other than sexual intimacy.
AIDS is NOT spread by casual contact with infected individuals. And neither is there any evidence that AIDS is spread by sharing towels, food or eating utensils with a person who has AIDS. "Sister" could have confirmed those facts by telephoning her local department of health, or calling the toll-free National Aids Hotline: 1-800-342-2437. This letter is too late for your lover's sister, but it need not be too late for anyone who has a friend or a relative who is living with AIDS.
DEAR ABBY: I need your advice. Six months ago, my husband and I separated. I moved out and took all my belongings and half of "our" belongings with me. I really tried to be fair. One thing I kept was a handmade bedspread my husband's grandmother had made and given me five years ago at my bridal shower.
Abby, I have dearly loved this woman and kept the bedspread partly because of what she has meant to me. I felt sure she would want me to have it. However, recently my former husband called to tell me he wants the bedspread back - that his grandmother told him she wants him to have it.
Well, I am so hurt over this because I really thought my loving feelings for her were reciprocated. I even wonder if perhaps my husband didn't fabricate the story; it's so hard for me to believe.
Anyway, I want to do the right thing. I haven't spoken to her yet because I fear what she may say. This is really hurting me. What should I do? - HURTING IN VIRGINIA
DEAR HURTING: Call her. Be warm and friendly, and tell her that you dearly love her. Then ask her when it would be convenient to return the bedspread. Her reaction to that question will tell you all you need to know. By popular request, Abby shares more of her favorite prize-winning, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)