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I was disappointed to read that people still think homosexuals are the only people who contract AIDS ("Gays issue a matter of logic," March 8). In the U.S, 64 percent of heterosexually acquired HIV infections occurred in females (and) AIDS has an incubation period of up to 10 years. Should the military require a 10-year waiting period to join? Readiness anyone?

I have been in the military for eight years and receive an AIDS test every year, so I believe testing is already in the budget.

Soldiers will not carry "extra equipment" — most of the items the writer listed [latex gloves, masks, etc.] are carried by soldiers in combat to prevent the spread of infection and disease. People are cared for in the general population every day by people who have AIDS/HIV. When was the last time you asked your civilian doctor if he was HIV-positive before he treated you?

"Gay" is not synonymous with "promiscuous" or "predator." I have dealt with unwanted advances from men and women as a solider, and I handled them all the same. I told the person I wasn’t interested. If they persisted, I said I would report the person for the next overture. The Army has regulations covering sexual harassment and teaches zero tolerance. The rules and guidelines on dress, appearance and military bearing have, and will not, change.

Let those who want to serve, serve. Those who have a problem with gays in the military [should] join in place of them. Losing a solider, proficient at his job, because of sexual orientation erodes readiness. When I redeploy, I won’t be concerned if my replacement is gay. I will go home. That is logic.

Sgt. Alexis WallerCamp Taji, Iraq

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