Thank you for your letter of August 12, 1985, which I just received this week. I have given your questions some thought, and
have discussed with colleagues in our hospital AIDS Care Group.
It is both my personal opinion and was our group consensus as follows:
Question #1. No. The term AIDS is not to be avoided at all costs.
Question #2. The use of any euphemism such as XYZ virus is misleading in a taxonomic sense, and would be unlikely to affect
any significant reduction in anxiety for individuals affected by it.
Question #3. Yes, the euphemism, even though it may be misleading, will be equated with AIDS and hence not produce the desired
reduction of anxiety.
Question #4. Eponyms are ubiquitous in medicine, with many now understood by the lay public. I would expect that your committee
may well recommend a name which contains more than one word and hence may be reduced to an eponym in practical usage. This
is quite acceptable.
I hope this addresses the issues you wish. I look forward to the result of your deliberations as the present heterogeneity
of terms does produce confusion for some people.