RELENTLESS and aggressive, AIDS is spreading rapidly in Hongkong and all over the world. AIDS may occur to all kinds of people: young, old, male or female. The major conduits for the transmission of the virus are through sexual contact, blood and contaminated needles. It is lamentable to hear that some people in Hongkong are catching AIDS as a result of ignorance or lack of information on AIDS. Therefore, preventive measures and AIDS education are essential to help halt its spread. Undoubtedly, those who practise high risk activities are in the greatest danger and need to modify their sexual behaviour. Firstly, they should reduce the number of partners. The fewer sexual partners they have or the fewer their partners have, the lower the risk of infection. Try to stay with and be faithful to one sexual partner. Condoms, when used properly, serve as barriers and can reduce the chances of infection by the AIDS virus. Under no circumstances should one allow blood contact with others. Furthermore, care should be taken when needles are used in drug-taking, ear-piercing and tattooing. The government and the mass media should give people the relevant and explicit facts about how AIDS is spread. It is all the more important to promote sex education to the public. Sex education for the youth is no doubt of central importance. Young people must be taught that the consequences of multiple casual sexual encounters can mean not only unwanted pregnancies but also an early death. Only if the younger generation is taughtnot to be promiscuous can we hope to stamp out the threat of AIDS. People from all walks of life can contribute to combat the fatal plague. Curiosity and peer pressure will drive young people to explore fresh things. Parents should shoulder the responsibilities of providing correct information on sex, intravenous drug abuse and AIDS for their children so that they will be able to decide wisely and protect themselves from infection. Teachers also have a role in cultivating among students a correct attitude towards sex, drug abuse and AIDS through lessons on moral education, biology and the like. In addition, medical practitioners, with their professional knowledge, can offer correct information on AIDS and its prevention, and clarify any misconceptions which may cause unnecessary panic. They can provide AIDS patients and their beloved ones with care and support, both physically and psychologically. Also, social workers can reach the individuals practising high risk activities. They can provide these people, who hover between life and death, with information on AIDS and help minimise the risk of infection. As regards HIV carriers, they should go for regular medical check-ups and try by all means to prevent passing on the HIV virus. Besides, they should let those with whom they have an intimate relationship know about their situation and encourage them to have their blood tested. Having AIDS is not a sin and those afflicted can continue to live with dignity and should make the most of the rest of their lives. Let us not forget that a meaningful life does not depend on how long we live; it does depend on whether it is eventful. After all, prevention is always the best policy and regret is always too late.