I applaud HIV-positive Apache Kory Montoya’s dedication, resilience, courage and talent in working with [Native Americans] regarding such a devastating epidemic in a time when it’s challenging to talk about other issues currently debilitating our people [“Native Son,” March 2008]! I wish you good health, lots of luck and much encouragement in your endeavors.
Keep on Truckin’
“The Long Haul” [March 2008, about HIV-positive truckers] was a very good article! I am not a driver, but I worked closely with drivers for almost 10 years in food distribution. I have also been [HIV positive] for 15 years. It seems like across the country and in each state there should be enough volunteers who are trustworthy enough to be able to get meds and meet the drivers at the truck stops. Their jobs are stressful enough without having to worry about adherence. Stress is the last thing any of us needs.
The article “Caffeine Fix” [about the effect of caffeine in possibly slowing liver damage] in your March 2008 issue made my jaw drop. Some of your readers might think you’re recommending they drink 8.8 cans of Coke per day or almost four cans of Red Bull, when the sugar and other ingredients in these products would likely cause harm from a nutritional standpoint and cancel out any potential benefits for the liver. I recommend in the future that you be more careful about printing this type of information and be more sensitive to potentially harming your readers.
Editors’ note: POZ listed the Coke and Red Bull equivalents merely to indicate the prohibitive amount required to match the study’s result.
Annette Lizzul’s column “Diagnosis: Stigma” (March 2008), about her being stigmatized by her plastic surgeon, sparked a large response from our readers on poz.com. A sampling:
After [reading] this story, I simply could not believe it. What a dreadful experience [for Lizzul], who is one of the nicest people I have met in years. As someone who is recently diagnosed (one year) and scared to death, I think she is an inspiration! Shame on this doctor and shame on the medical board.
Bradley Beach, NJ
I’m so sick of hearing about stigma. I work with doctors, and I can attest to the fact that a lot of them do hold strange, out-of-date notions [about] people living with HIV. We need to be strong and stand up for ourselves. I’ve gone head-to-head with docs who have made inappropriate comments about gays and people with HIV. I’m not scared of them. Any doc that discriminates against me [is] in for a rough ride.
It saddens me that this happened, but I find this article ineffective unless you reveal the name of that plastic surgeon. Keeping him anonymous only dignifies his behavior. It is because some of us remain silent that this continues to happen.