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updated 08/20/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/20/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Our story on 24-year-old Ali Gertz and six other women with AIDS (PEOPLE, July 30) prompted the third-largest reader response of this year. Most expressed admiration and support for Ali, although some wondered why she was allowed to frequent nightclubs at the age of 15. Readers also responded to the story on the Prairie Dog Shoot in Nucla, Colo., with all but two deploring the event as inhumane.

AIDS: A WOMAN'S STORY
Thank you for your article on Ali Gertz and for not being afraid to state that AIDS is everyone's problem—not just that of certain high-risk groups. Married or single, monogamous or high risk, we must demand more education and pressure for a cure and not leave it to the next guy because we think it doesn't involve us.
Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Lebson
Baltimore

It's very uplifting that a girl with such a deadly disease could have so much courage. I'm 19, and this is the first article that has really touched me. scared me. Thank you for writing about Ali. I'm sure I was not the only one she reached.
Holly Sadler
Montgomery, Ala.

Although it is tragic that Ali Gertz has AIDS, it is at least as tragic that a 15-year-old girl was hanging out at Studio 54 and that a 16-year-old girl seduced an older man in her parent-free home.
A.N. Brown
Edison, N.J.

The article on Ali Gertz was very touching and very sad. I hope many people can learn from her situation, not only how she got the disease, but also the way she lives her life with it. Good luck, Ali.
Tom McConkey
De Kalb, Ill.

A 15-year-old who frequents Studio 54? An uncared-for 16-year-old, left home alone in the family's apartment, drinking champagne and having sex with an older man? AIDS did not take away the promise of Ali Gertz's life. Her parents did that with their neglect and indifference.
Jill Bollhoefer
West Chicago. Ill.

Alison Gertz is priceless as a lecturer to our kids. Maybe she should expand her audience to include the medical profession. In the photo on page 64, it looks as if the nurse drawing blood is not using any protection. Where are her gloves?
Susan Cashon
Tulsa, Okla.

CENTRAL PARK JOGGER TRIAL
I am sickened by the ignorant and uninformed reactions of the protesters both inside and outside the courtroom. The trial concerns an act of violence against a woman and has nothing to do with racial discrimination. Reaction would be the same if the victim was black and the attackers were white: horror and disgust at more sexual violence against innocent women.
L. Butz
St. Petersburg, Fla.

PRAIRIE DOG SHOOT
If those hunters really want to test their skills and equipment and rid the world of destructive pests, they should pit themselves against one another.
Leslie J. Lozano.
Bellflower, Calif.

Every time I think we have made some progress in our humane treatment of the animals with whom we share our world, I come across a story such as the one on the hunters joyfully killing prairie dogs. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Unfortunately, the Colorado hunters have shown us just how far we've progressed.
Alice M. Joyce
Los Angeles

ALAN DERSHOWITZ
Before PEOPLE published its bio of me, it had the following documents: 1) A letter from Father Magaldi—corroborated by one from his lawyer—stating that "if you were in any way to suggest that Alan Dershowitz tricked me into signing an affidavit, you would be telling an untruth." Yet you suggested that untruth, attributed it to Magaldi, and failed to mention his letter. 2) A letter from me pointing out that the Magaldi affidavit was never mentioned in the Von Bülow appeal, which we won on constitutional grounds unrelated to the Magaldi affidavit. Yet you published the falsehood that "it was the first point in (the] appeal." 3) A letter from Claus von Bülow indicating that the publication of my book did not hurt him, as your article suggests, but rather that he urged me to write it. I fight hard for my clients, but I fight fair. And, unlike you, I get my facts straight.
Alan M. Dershowitz
Cambridge, Mass.

We stand by the article as published. Professor Dershowitz correctly points out, however, that the Magaldi affidavit was not mentioned in the Von Bülow appeal. Father Magaldi's affidavit was the first point cited, though, in a supplementary motion.
—ED.

PICKS AND PANS
In the review of my book Alien Sex, I'm called the former fiction editor at Omni magazine. As of today, I still am the fiction editor.
Ellen Datlow
New York City

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