the efforts of public authorities to haltnthe display of traditional Nativitynscenes at Christmas. Apparently we arento be grateful that the Mapplethorpenexhibition is not blasphemous, as otherwisenthe judge might have orderednthe city to provide free shuttle buses.n— Harold O.J. BrownnSAN FRANCISCO, the AIDS capitalnof the nation, is presumably a citynthat should be open to a variety ofnviews on how to combat the virus. Asnthe experience of Dr. Lorraine Day ofnSan Francisco General Hospital suggests,nthe greater the concentration ofnhomosexuals and AIDS carriers in annarea, the narrower the limits of thendebate.nUntil February 1 of this year, Dr.nDay was the chief of orthopedic surgerynat San Francisco General. Shendescribes orthopedics, or skeletal surgery,nas a kind of carpentry of the body.nShe sometimes uses high-speed drillsnand saws to rebuild patients who havenbeen mangled in accidents or blastednby gunfire. Orthopedists frequentlynnick themselves with their tools or arenstruck with bone splinters while doingna job that is literally drenched withnblood. “I work up to my armpits innblood,” says Dr. Day; “I’ve been doingnit for 15 years.”nIn the early 80’s, when it wasnlearned that AIDS is transmitted bynblood. Dr. Day started asking the specialistsnin infectious diseases whatnchance there was of getting the virusnfrom a cut or from a bloody bonensplinter. She was assured that there wasnno chance at all. But on October 7,n1987 — a date she will never forget —nshe learned that a nurse at the hospitalnhad gotten AIDS by accidentally stickingnherself with a contaminated needle.n”My whole life passed before me,”nsays Dr. Day, who is angry about thenfalse assurances she was given. “Eithernthose people should have known andndidn’t, or they knew and didn’t tell us,”nshe says.nDr. Day began to study the AIDSnliterature herself, in an attempt to findnout just how dangerous her work was.nShe learned, for example, that the HIVnvirus can stay alive in saliva at roomntemperature for seven days, and that itncan survive freezing. AIDS has reportedlynbeen contracted from transplantsnof frozen bone marrow. “This is not anfragile virus,” she says.nShe started asking her patients tontake voluntary blood tests so that shenwould know what risk she ran duringnsurgery, and she started wearing protectivenclothing. There has long been anhead-to-toe suit that doctors wearnwhen they put artificial parts, like newnhip joints, into a patient’s body. Bacteria,neven in tiny quantities, cling to thenparts and can cause infection, so doctorsnmust isolate themselves completelynfrom the patient. Even their breath isnfiltered to protect the patient. Dr. Daynstarted wearing one of these suits duringnsurgery. She also had the manufacturerninstall another filter to clean thenair coming into the suit, since powerntools can throw up a fine spray ofnblood.nDr. Day also became curious tonknow how many HIV-positive patientsncame through her department, andnstarted asking patients to take a bloodntest even if they could be treatednwithout surgery. She learned that 10 ton30 percent of her patients were HIVpositivenor in high-risk groups, and thatnduring one aberrant month, the numbernwas 90 percent. Her testing programnmade her famous. A homosexualnpatient, whose ankle fracture did notnrequire surgery, refused to take the testnand reported to the newspapers that henhad been turned down for surgerynbecause he would not take an AIDSntest.nNewspapers and television stationsnmarveled at the doctor who wore an”space suit” during surgery, and homosexualngroups charged her withnanti-AIDS hysteria. When she begannto speak her mind about AIDS, thingsngot worse. “The disease has been handlednpolitically rather than medically,”nshe says. “If it had been handled likenany other communicable disease, itnwould be under control by now.” Shenhas campaigned for routine testing,ncontact tracing, and mandatory reportingnas is done with carriers of venerealndisease.nPrecisely because she favors measuresnthat would reduce the chancesnthat susceptible people will catch thendisease, Dr. Day has been accused ofnhating these people. Dr. LaurensnWhite, past president of the CalifornianMedical Association, has been quotednas calling her a “right-wing fanatic,”nnnwho thinks that homosexuals and drugnusers are the “scum of the earth.”nMichael Shriver of ACT-UP/SannFrancisco (AIDS Coalition to UnleashnPower) says she is “a sick, sick, sick, sicknperson.” Since Dr. Day has been askednto lecture about AIDS, Mr. Shrivernaccuses her of “turning fear of AIDSninto a money-making venture.” Hencalls contact tracing “a totally discreditednconcept,” and points to the risk ofnemployer or insurance carrier discriminationnagainst people known to havenAIDS. An AIDS carrier himself, henrefuses to acknowledge that the risknuninfected people run of getting a fatalndisease should be weighed in the balancenagainst the risk of discriminationnagainst a carrier.nDr. Day is no longer doing surgerynat San Francisco General. She finallyndecided that day-in-day-out contactnwith infected blood was a risk she hadnrun for long enough. She has voluntarilynmoved her practice to the Universitynof California at San Francisco, wherenthere are far fewer AIDS patients. “Inhad operated on as many or morenAIDS patients than anyone else in thencountry, and I figured I had been onnthe front lines long enough,” she says;n”I have an obligation to stay alive andnraise my family. It’s time for somebodynelse to take over.” •n— Jared TaylornTHE 1980’S WERE supposed to benthe conservative decade. Not in FairfaxnCounty, Virginia. This past winter atnAnnandale High, the school’s studentsnfought a battle over placing a $40nadvertisement from a homosexualn”youth group” in the school paper.nOffered by the “Sexual MinoritynYouth Assistance League” (SMYAL),nwhich is based in Washington, D.C.’snDupont Circle, the city’s cultural, recreational,nand financial mecca for homosexuals,nthe ad “invites you [homosexualnand lesbian students] to join ourndiscussion group every Saturday fromnnoon to 3 p.m.” The ad also offered itsn”HELP” line, begging the question ofnwhat sort of help this group would likento offer and who the helpers are. Onenalso might ask why suburban youngstersntruly confused about their sexualitynshould hike to the middle of Washington,npresumably without parentalnpermission, for a skull session withnJULY 1990/7n