The public is generally sympathetic toward people who have AIDS, but it has little or no sympathy for people who became infected with the AIDS virus through homosexuality or intravenous drug use, a survey found.

A total of 75 percent of the respondents to The New York Times-CBS News poll said they had "a lot" or "some" sympathy for people who have AIDS and 19 percent said they had "not much" or "no" sympathy.But the level of sympathy declined when the two groups at highest risk of getting the disease were mentioned. Past polls have shown negative public attitudes toward both groups, homosexuals and drug users.

Only 36 percent of those interviewed had a lot or some sympathy for "people who get AIDS from homosexual activity," and 26 percent said they had a lot or some sympathy for "people who get AIDS from sharing needles while using illegal drugs."