DEAR ABBY: Recently you ran a letter from "Helen in K.C" that raised the issue of whether or not to include AIDS as the cause of death in an obituary. One statement in that letter concerned me deeply, so I hope you will print this in order to correct the misinformation.
The sentence: "Due to ignorance, many people think AIDS is a venereal disease - which it is not."Abby, I am the manager of the AIDS Education Project at California State University, Sacramento. Please advise your readers that AIDS IS a sexually transmitted disease (the term "venereal disease" was phased out several years ago).
AIDS can be transmitted through an infected person by one of three ways: sex without protection direct blood-to-blood contact, including sharing hypodermic needles, tattoo equipment, sex toys or razor blades; infected mothers may pass the virus to their unborn babies during pregnancy, delivery or through breast feeding.
People who believe that AIDS cannot be transmitted through sex are operating without clear and accurate information. AIDS is a non-discriminatory, equal-opportunity sexually transmitted disease. - SUSAN FELDMAN, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, SACRAMENTO
DEAR MS. FELDMAN: The sentence that concerns you concerns me even more because a crucial word was inadvertently omitted. The sentence, "Due to ignorance, many people think AIDS is a venereal disease - which it is not," should have read: "Due to ignorance, many people think AIDS is exclusively a sexually transmitted disease - which it is not."
DEAR ABBY: I clipped this column from The Beacon-News in 1969, and it's still an excellent piece. Please run it again. - JERI BESCO, AURORA, ILL.
DEAR JERI: It's as timely today as it was in 1969, so here it is:
DEAR ABBY: I just received a letter from my husband in Korea, and something you wrote in your column over a year ago has helped to keep our marriage a true one. I can best explain by quoting a portion of my husband's letter:
"Honey, do you remember the clipping you sent me from Dear Abby's column when I first got over here - the one about the soldier in Korea who wanted to know what to do about his `physical needs' while he was overseas?
"Well, I still carry it and I've read it so many times, it's worn to shreds. It has helped to keep me strong. It's too bad the Army doesn't issue a copy to every man overseas. They could sure save a lot of money on curing venereal disease and keep a lot of homes from breaking up."
Abby, would you please print it again? I want to be sure the one my husband has doesn't get too worn to read. - GRATEFUL READER
DEAR READER: With pleasure. Here it is:
DEAR ABBY: My problem is one that bothers thousands of GIs, so I hope you will print the answer because it is needed badly. I am a happily married man with a wonderful wife and two small children back in the States. I've been in Korea for four months. After living a normal married life for three years, what is a healthy young man supposed to do for his physical needs?
There are 12 women for every GI over here, and women practically throw themselves at our feet. Don't get me wrong, Abby, I love my wife, but I have a long hitch over here and I'm only human. If you print this, please sign me . . . JERSEY
DEAR JERSEY: Assume for a moment that I received the following letter:
DEAR ABBY: I am a happily married woman with a wonderful husband and two small children. My husband has been in Korea for four months, and after living a normal married life for three years, what is a healthy young woman supposed to do for her physical needs?
There are plenty of men around, and when they learn that my husband is in Korea, they practically throw themselves at my feet. I love my husband, but he's going to be gone a long time, and I'm only human. - JERSEY'S WIFE
Well, Jersey, I would tell that woman to keep as busy as possible with her duties and as many wholesome activities as her time and energy permit. I'd suggest reading, physical exercise and yes, even prayers. I'd tell her to stay sober and to avoid temptation and to write to you every day! And that, Jersey, is my answer to you, and to all your buddies in the same lonesome boat. Sincerely, ABBY
DEAR ABBY: We are 28 third-graders at Sumter Christian School in Sumter, S.C. Sometimes Mrs. Tomlinson reads the class stuff out of your column. You said a lady wanted to name her baby after you but her husband wouldn't let her.
We think Abby is a beautiful name. We have 50 eggs in an incubator in our classroom. They will hatch out to be cute little baby chicks on May 10 and we will name one of our baby chicks Abby after you if that is OK with you. Could you please send us your picture that you have signed? We will put it on the wall next to the one Mrs. Bush sent us. Write soon, as we are out of school May 31. Thank you and goodbye. Sign this . . . MRS. TOMLINSON'S THIRD-GRADERS
DEAR THIRD-GRADERS AND MRS. TOMLINSON: I would be honored to have one of your baby chicks named after me. My picture (signed) is on its way.
What teenagers need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with their peers and parents is now in Abby's updated, expanded booklet, "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)