Thank you for your letter of August 12th inquiring about my thoughts regarding a name for the "AIDS virus". The word
"AIDS", comes with much political, media and psychological "baggage"; I shy away from using that name ("AIDS
virus") when discussing the virus with patients. As of today, I have been involved directly with the diagnosis and/or
care of 17 patients with AIDS, and have 80 or so other immune compromised patients in my practice. I use the abbreviations
HTLV-III and/or LAV in describing to patients the cause for their immune compromised status. People seem to accept this complex
medical term (HTLV-III or LAV) without too much panic; then I go on to explain that it "plays the major role" in developing
the disease we refer to as "AIDS" - and that "AIDS" is an umbrella term for a disease that presents in many
It is my personal conviction that the word "AIDS" should be left out of the name for this virus.