February 01, 1988 12:00 PM

This is a useful 48-minute primer in which man-on-the-street comments are mixed with graphics and interviews with 12 medical experts who explain what AIDS is, where it comes from, who gets it and how. Dr. Anthony Fauci, coordinator of AIDS research at the National Institutes of Health, declares there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted by sneezing, coughing, sharing drinking glasses, swimming in a public pool or exercising at a health club. If you plan to get a tattoo, though, make sure needles have been sterilized. Take care that your dentist wears gloves and uses sterile or disposable instruments. Sex therapist Helen Singer Kaplan describes safe and unsafe sexual practices. (Condoms reduce the risk but are not 100 percent effective.) The tape stresses the importance of early detection through blood tests because, in some cases, life can be prolonged with AZT drug treatment, though no drug can cure the disease. (The high cost of AZT is not mentioned, nor is the controversy over mandatory testing.) Especially wrenching are the appearances of six young “Friends With Aids”—three of them women—who believe they became infected with the virus through heterosexual sex. The tape’s basic message is delivered most straightforwardly by one 28-year-old victim, Terry Conner: “Until there is a cure for this disease, protect yourself.” (Light VT, $9.95; 800-544-4888)

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