I feel for Jake Glaser, the 21-year-old activist you profiled in the October 2006 issue [“Here Comes the Son”]. Here’s a kid who was handed down the responsibility of carrying on the courageous legacy of his mother, who founded the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation before succumbing to the disease herself. Born infected, raised a child of Hollywood privilege, he provides his peers a great example of the power humanity can wield when one lives his life in service rather than just to exist for materialistic gain. I have been HIV positive myself for 26 years and have been truly humbled by his willingness to stay the course. You’re an inspiration, Jake, as well as a true American hero.
Although I respect the tenacity with which writer Tim Murphy approached your feature story on grandparents raising their AIDS-orphaned grandchildren [“Meet the (Grand)Parents,” October, 2006], I felt that the article lacked the proper socioeconomic and racial context the discussion deserves. Grandparents, particularly in minority communities, have historically parented successive generations, regardless of HIV. And that cannot be sufficiently explained just by stating, “African-American families have a strong maternal hierarchy.”
In prison, we are not taught enough about HIV and AIDS. It’s good for me and other inmates who are living with the disease to read POZ because we need advice and support when it comes to our health.
Every article in your October issue touched me. When I was diagnosed in 1997, I went through so many meds and so many side effects that I got depressed and let myself go. The doctor gave me one year to live. And guess what? I’m still alive and reading POZ.
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
QUEENS OF DAYTIME
I watched Oprah today and saw POZ’s editor in chief, Regan Hofmann, and your community outreach coordinator, Marvelyn Brown, discussing how HIV happened to them—and can happen to anybody. As an HIV positive young man, I give them 110% of my heart.
ONEONTA, NEW YORK