A Letter From the Publisher: Feb. 16, 1987

Working on this week's main cover story about AIDS and the singles scene, Martha Smilgis discovered that many men and women were reluctant to talk about the fact that a casual affair could bring on the deadly virus. "In the bars, it's tricky to ask about AIDS," says Associate Editor Smilgis, who wrote the story. "Most people still think it's a gay disease and haven't really thought much about the problem. Your question begins a process of education."

Smilgis' own education in the subject began while she was Los Angeles bureau chief for PEOPLE magazine from 1982 to 1986. From there,...

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