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PETA SPOKESMAN JUDY Sweetland exemplifies the ignorance of so many animal rights leaders (The Mail, 8/11). In arguing against animal research, she opines that the medical research industry does not “want you to know that…no animal infected with HIV has ever developed AIDS as humans do.” In fact, animal researchers are constantly telling us this. Understanding why animals don’t get AIDS may hold the key to preventing AIDS in humans.

She says that “Progress in understanding AIDS has come not from animal research but from clinical, epidemiological, and in vitro studies.” Wrong. Animal research first confirmed the potential of AZT as an anti-HIV agent, clarified the means of HIV transmission, and identified HIV as a probable cause of AIDS.

She further states that “testing vaccines for the AIDS virus on animals stands little chance of proving that these drugs will be effective or even safe for humans.” How can she know the result of something that’s never been tried?

Finally, she denigrates doctors, nurses, and others who support animal research by saying that “Reliance on animal experiments to find cures for these diseases is motivated by greed, not compassion….”

Fortunately, the more animal rights spokesmen openly espouse their views, the more the public will come to reject their agenda.

Research Associate, Capital Research Center, Downtown