Most medical experts agree the risk of getting AIDS from a rape is small, but tell that to someone like Diana.

Diana was raped in 1988, and her assailant was arrested. Her horror was magnified when the man, an intravenous drug user, died of AIDS in prison."He didn't kill me that night," she said, "but he still could murder me today even though he's dead."

She is not alone in her fears.

"It's a double whammy," said Robin Einbinder, assistant director of the rape program at New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center. "You get raped and your first reaction is, `Oh my God, that person probably has AIDS.' "

The second reaction, in cases where a suspect is arrested, is often "Can this man be tested for AIDS against his will?" And the answer to that question is one that is being grappled with by state legislatures, by doctors and by rape counselors across the nation.

Some who are opposed to this testing say the money is better spent on treatment and counseling, while others say testing is a violation of the suspect's civil liberties.

No one knows how many rapes go unreported, but the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated there were 135,000 rapes in 1989, the last year for which figures are available.

Statistics on how many people get AIDS from rape are rare, partly because it is difficult to link transmission to a single exposure.

The virus cannot be detected in a blood test until at least several months after exposure. So an AIDS test right after an assault would show the victim's HIV status only before the rape.

Similarly, a positive test of a rapist does not always prove the suspect was responsible for passing on the virus.

"There is no medical justification that testing the defendant would be useful," said Liz Cooper, staff counsel of the AIDS Project of the American Civil Liberties Union in New York.

Many states have decided the victim has the right to know whether the attacker carries the virus. At least 22 states, including Florida, Illinois and California, mandate testing of convicted sex offenders.

The Washington Legislature is considering taking a step farther. A bill to allow testing of suspects charged with rape has passed in the Washington House and is awaiting action in the Senate.

Diana, the rape victim, dismisses talk of the rights of rape suspects.

"What about my rights and the rights of any victim that is like me?" she said. "The fact is that rape doesn't kill you, but AIDS does."