ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ A man upset over the state's AIDS policies slashed the throat of a state health department aide Thursday afternoon in her office, police said.

The victim, Frances Tarlton, underwent surgery and was listed in fair condition at Albany Medical Center Hospital, spokesman Greg McGarry said. Her hand also was slashed when she tried to defend herself.

The suspect, William W. Lewis of Albany, was arrested at the scene and charged with second-degree attempted murder, said Officer Bruce MacWatters of the Capitol police force.

Lewis considers himself an activist in the fight against AIDS and had been upset over the state's handling of AIDS-related issues, police said.

A message on Lewis' answering machine said, ''We should test and quarantine, not pass out condoms.''

The weapon used in the attack was recovered on the 14th floor of the office complex, where the public affairs office of the Health Department is located, MacWatters said.