AIDS is a fatal disease that is gradually spreading in our country too. Prevention is better than cure but when there is no cure, prevention is the only option left. AIDS is a set of symptoms and infections resulting from damage to the immune system caused by HIV (human immuno-deficiency virus), leaving individuals susceptible to severe infections and tumours. Despite growth in the numbers of cases in Pakistan, little importance is being given to this fatal epidemic. Major cause for rapid increase is lack of awareness about AIDS, especially among men. Seven times more men are reported to be infected with HIV than women. In Pakistan, this disease is contracted in the form of infection through sexual contact, transfusion of contaminated blood and blood products, sharing of hypodermic needles and from mother to infant. The reason for spread of this epidemic can be cultural, religious, and societal. Peer pressure, society's unethical restrictions, deficient parent support and a communication gap between parents and adolescents results unprotected sex and misuse of chemical drugs for addiction are some of the reasons being cited for the rise of this epidemic in our society. -ZAHRA DAR, Lahore, via e-mail, March 7.