Awareness more important

The best way to teach teenagers about the perils of AIDS is to display the facts and lessons in a medium that they will understand and pay attention to.

In this spirit, the New York state Health Department attempted to compile an AIDS prevention video to be sent to every New York junior and senior high school.

But the video project encountered a glitch when the American Federation of Musicians union refused the department’s request to use 10-second clips of three popular songs in order to make the video more appealing to teens. The union estimated the cost of the songs, including the labor of musicians and arrangers, to be more than $4,000.

The sad part of this story is that artists and record companies gave the state permission to use the songs. What the union should consider is the people who donate their time and effort everyday to combat the spread of AIDS.

Asking the union to put its loyalty to its workers aside to contribute to this project is not too much to ask when this video has the potential of reaching so many teens, so effectively.