In “R.I.P. HIV” (October/November 2011), POZ editor Regan Hofmann discussed current research and treatment breakthroughs then outlined how laying AIDS to rest is now possible.
I can’t help but wonder if a shift in thinking might ultimately occur if all HIV-positive people would decide to come out of the shadows and disclose—particularly those who are public figures.
We need to fund the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and get more than 6,000 people in the United States off the ARV [antiretroviral treatment] waiting list. We [also] need policy change—[more comprehensive] sex education, [expanded] availability of condoms and [improved HIV] education in general.
New Haven, CT
This is great news and a hopeful article, but seeing the hard copy magazine I am disappointed in the cover image you chose to run. Putting a huge “X” through the red ribbon gives the wrong impression. I was immediately taken aback seeing an X over something that stands for AIDS awareness, support and solidarity. The inside image of an X over a medicine bottle or the image you ran online of the virus would have made a much more appropriate cover image.
New York City
In “High-Impact Prevention” (October/November 2011), the CDC’s Kevin Fenton, MD, discussed a new approach to prevent HIV in communities most at risk, particularly young black and Latino men who have sex with men.
[Fenton says that] “gay leaders need to re-engage and make HIV prevention a key component of their agenda.” Finally, someone is at least alluding to the gay community’s role in the resurgence of HIV as a problem. It’s about time.
You have to be careful with this message. Telling men on ARVs that they are less likely to transmit HIV will make them more likely to have unprotected sex. Draw your own conclusions.
I agree that in the early days of HIV, outreach to gays did slow the progression of the virus. You need to bring that back. As you look at high infection [rate] areas such as mine, with mostly blacks, you will not see the outreach you had in the early days. There are [few] CBOs [community-based organizations] to do the job. Don’t expect the Department of Health to get the dollars where they need to be. It’s not happening.
In “Defying Gravity” (October/November 2011), Orbit Clanton talked about his religious faith and his work with HIV-positive people who also have mental or physical disabilities.
I’m proud of my good friend, Orbit. He inspires me when I feel sorry for myself. Orbit is a great role model for our community. I was smiling when you asked him about his beloved cat Cassondra—his “baby.”