Safety Net Because rates of HIV infection continue to grow among women, the information provided by the Women and HIV Conference continues to be crucial and timely. Educators and health care and social work professionals, as well as women with HIV and AIDS, will have access to recent clinical and social research, presented in forums like "Ethical, Legal, and Policy Issues" and "HIV Throughout the Life Cycle." The conference begins with registration at 8 a.m. (also Friday) at the Ramada Hotel Civic Center, 1231 Market, S.F. Admission is $50-100, with scholarships available to people with HIV/AIDS; call 554-9630.

january 31
Heart Attack Moonstruck scriptwriter John Patrick Shanley turns his attention yet again to amore, New York style, in "Two Valentines by John Patrick Shanley." Actors' Theater Group stages Shanley's one-act plays Welcome to the Moon, about a guy who returns to the Bronx several years after high school graduation to reveal a secret to an old friend, and The Dreamer Examines His Pillow, in which a woman's father confronts her boyfriend, only to discover that he and the boyfriend have more in common than the woman has with either of them. The show opens at 8 p.m. (and runs through Feb. 22) at Bindlestiff Studio, 185 Sixth St., S.F. Admission is $10; call 974-1167.

Split Personalities When people are consumed by a passion for one thing at the expense of all other areas, the Japanese say they are "like Ashura," a former demon adapted by Buddhist mythology and representative of inner turmoil. In Moon at Dawn, Takami & Dancers explore life's contradictions, inspired by the three-headed, six-armed figure, and accompanied by taiko drummer Jimmy Nakagawa, shakuhachi flute player Hideo Sekino, and poet Minori Yata, among others. The show opens at 8 p.m. (and continues through Feb. 9) at Dancers' Group Studio Theater, 3221 22nd St., S.F. Admission is $8-10; call 824-5044.

Dancing Cures What Ails You Dancers and audiences alike are usually jumping for joy by the end of Revelations, Alvin Ailey's signature piece, which ends in an exuberant swell of gospel music. Modern dance icon Judith Jamison, the Ailey dancer who assumed directorship of the company in 1989, has included Revelations in two of the three programs the company will perform here, but the real revelation may come with Cavalcade, a Lar Lubovitch work performed for the first time by dancers other than the choreographer's own. Jamison also capitalizes on her company's musicality with Suite Otis, a collection of dances set to Otis Redding music, and For "Bird" -- With Love, a jazzy tribute to Charlie Parker. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs at 8 p.m. (and continues through Feb. 9) at Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus. Admission is $18-40; call (510) 642-9988.

february 1
Dog Day Afternoon A sequel to 101 Dalmatians is already in the works at the Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show, where 101 retrievers will be shown, along with 96 Rottweilers and 71 Siberian huskies. Dalmatian devotees, poodle lovers, and dog fanciers of all stripes will probably find at least one of their favorite canines here, since there are 135 breeds, popular and rare, listed among the 2,200 entries. Flyball demonstrations and "canine good citizen testing" are part of the scheduled entertainment. If the warm, fuzzy cuteness doesn't get to you, the noise and the smell just might. Events begin at 9 a.m. (also Sunday) at the Cow Palace, Geneva & Santos, Daly City. Admission is $4-8; call 469-6000.

Dead See Scrawls It's been like Return of the Living Dead around here lately, what with the Garcia-Koons bout and the pop-culture exhibit "The Art of the Dead," which features concert paraphernalia, photos, posters and album cover art, lithographs, and original watercolors by Jerry Garcia. The exhibit, which is sponsored by Volkswagen (natch), is about to hit the road for a national gallery tour; its last day in town, artists and photographers Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley, and others will be signing posters, beginning at noon at the ArtRock Gallery, 1155 Mission, S.F. Admission is free; call 255-7390.

february 2
Habla Turista? "Travel for Foxy Old Ladies" is just one of the seminars offered at Maiden Voyages magazine's First Ever Women's Travel Expo, and if it seems that a travel conference just for women is fairly specific, consider that "Women and Safety" is another workshop available to participants, since some of the world's countries are less hospitable to female travelers than others. Lori Dobeus, owner of self-defense training outfit the Women's Safety Project, will discuss self-defense and travel at the expo, which also boasts packing demonstrations, prize giveaways, and exhibitors from hotels, airlines, tours, and other travel industries. It all begins at 10 a.m. in Building A of the Fort Mason Center, S.F. Admission is $5-6; call (800) 528-8425.

All Over the Map Historian Peter Pierson conducts a history tour of the Iberian Peninsula in his lecture "Spain: Mainstream to the Exotic," while harpsichordist Elaine Thornburgh evokes that country by playing the music of one of its honorary citizens, the composer Scarlatti. Later, actor Peter Donat revisits Russian playwright Anton Chekhov in the comic monologue On the Harmfulness of Tobacco, and David Bartlett draws architectural parallels between Gothic cathedrals and Osaka's new International Air Terminal in "A Tale of Two Cathedrals." The world tour is courtesy of "A Taste of Humanities West"; it begins at 1 p.m. at the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, S.F. Admission is $25; call 391-9700.

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