Southern Exposure

I really loved December’s feature “35 Ones to Watch.” I was pleased to see “southern spitfire” Joyce Turner-Keller. I would have liked to see more southern representatives such as Judith Dillard, activist and peer educator, and Karen Bates, co-chair of South Carolina Campaign to End AIDS.

Next year’s list should definitely include Ms. Lynda Dee, director of AIDS Action Baltimore. She is a real mover and shaker!

Nita Costello

Hot Rod

Thanks so much for your “35 Ones to Watch.” It signals that the movement is keeping pace with the changing face of AIDS. Early AIDS prevention messages were targeted to gay white men while minority populations fell through the cracks. Even today, people of color are being stereotyped in the media, leaving us with barely any empowering strategies to address our issues.

Therefore, I’m glad Rod McCullom’s blog Rod 2.0: Beta was on your list. Not only is his blog fun and thought-provoking, it provides a much-needed voice for communities of color.
Zun Lee
Toronto, Canada

Live To Tell

Rave reviews to Bob Ickes’ December article, “Madonna Dearest.” For far too long the face of AIDS has not reflected the actual community. It is time for positive people to stand center stage.

Many of us in the HAART era are not living just manageable lives, but we are really living. We’re advocating, writing our stories, and doing everything the celebrities who travel overseas do, yet without the grandeur. Wouldn’t it be grand if celebrities would make such gestures right here in the United States? I wonder if they can show that kind of character.
Hartsel Clifton Shirley

Reality Stars

Reading December’s “35 Ones to Watch” and “Madonna Dearest” both left me wondering: Why do celebrities get to share their expertise with the world while HIV positive people continue to be ignored?

I was diagnosed in July 2005 with zero CD4s. I know what it is to lose your job, be homeless, and watch your children fall apart. I believe that the real “Ones to Watch” are people like myself, who are reinventing their lives, finding new ways to cope, and raising families—all while fighting to survive.
Lisa Gittens
Barbados, West Indies