I wanted to tell POZ that Ton Koene’s photographs of the African women on the July/August cover and in Jimmie Briggs’s feature story “The Killing Fields” are stunning! And what a great article. I think the pictures of these women, at risk for HIV in war-torn regions, would make great community training posters.
Peter McQuaid’s column “Big Gulp” (July/August), on finding humor in living with HIV, was very hard to swallow. Yes, Mr. McQuaid, you are one of “the lucky ones.” Lucky enough to live in a time with lifesaving AIDS cocktails. You benefit from those who marched, screamed and demanded that the FDA approve new drugs. So many died too young and too soon, like my lover of 20 years. They did not attend “really classy catered” parties like the one you describe. They were not making “LemonAIDS”; they were trying to stay alive. It is not “the weapons between our legs” that could “wreak horror and suffering on The Innocent” but caustic cynical pieces like yours, which read like gay party banter.
I am writing to urge people not to confuse Ryan White the (very good) person with the Ryan White CARE Act (could be much better), as headlined in the chart “A Ryan White Scorecard,” in the July/August issue. I think a yearly reminder of who Ryan was and what he did for us would be a good idea, especially since people newly diagnosed every year don’t recognize his name.
Jefferson City, MO
Nice Reflection on You
Bob Ickes’s “The Mirror Has Two Chins” (July/August), on HIV-positive body image, was a timely read. Having been diagnosed with AIDS in October 2006, I finally summoned the courage to go to the gym in July of this year. I’d been gaunt and weak and lacked focus. When I objected to a free-weight regimen, my instructor said, “Let’s do it.” The result? I’m more confident, my energy soars and the depression abates. It’s just part of my health regimen, but I’m sure it was a factor in my CD4s’ recent jump of 35 points!
Correction: “Priority Male” (September 2007) misnamed amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.