I was browsing through some of the BOE letters (made available here: http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/watchtower/bible/243938/1/All-Letters-to-Elders-From-The-branch-1981-2012-BOE) and came across the 3/15/96 letter about persons with communicable diseases. It specifically mentions AIDS several times in the letter and seems to be primarily targeted at that population. Among other gems:
- Persons with AIDS can't be baptized in the general baptism pool - it would have to be in a hotel tub or "running body of water." (Does that mean a lake doesn't count?? And are they afraid of polluting a body of water with AIDS, unless it has a running current???)
- They should not hug or kiss others
- They should only attend the Book Study at the Kingdom Hall (not that this would apply now, anyway)
- If others in the cong don't invite AIDS victims to their homes, such victims should "not react negatively"
I'm positive that it was known in 1996 how AIDS was spread, and it's not by hugging, kissing, being in a room with someone, or even bathing in the same pool. Do they not believe what science has proven? Does anyone know if this policy is still in effect? It makes them look so backwards - not that this is the only policy that makes them appear that way. I couldn't find a letter changing this policy.