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Despite the advances made in fighting the ravages of AIDS, it is important to reiterate that getting the disease is, at best, a life sentence.

The amazing success of the "AIDS cocktail," a combination of three drugs that reduce the presence of the virus in the body, had led some researchers to hope that the effects of the drugs might be permanent. With that in mind, doctors launched two experimental attempts to cut down on the 15 to 20 pills a day that HIV-infected people must take to keep AIDS at bay.

Unfortunately, the results were disappointing. As the medication was reduced, the virus came raging back. . . .

We marvel that scientists have been able to turn AIDS into a manageable disease for many. And it seems reasonable to hope that someday researchers will find a cure.

Until then, however, caution should be the watchword. No one should engage in unsafe sexual practices with the notion that the AIDS cocktail is a cure rather than simply a temporary truce with this deadly disease.

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