My Fair Lady
I found your discussion of Femmes Positives, the organization fighting to criminalize HIV transmission in France, to be objective and representative [“Fighting Femmes,” June 2005]. Aurore, the 24-year-old woman who killed herself after hearing her infector might get out of prison, is my daughter. I simply wish to fight for justice—so I say yes to criminalization. Obviously, the answer is not to punish everybody—people with HIV are not bad. But we need vigilance and to spread our message. You are part of this chain of communication.
“Fighting Femmes” is extremely biased and makes me ashamed to live in France. You feed the criminalization movement by using mostly one-sided quotes from the women of Femmes Positives—even if you criticize many of the dubious things they stand for. Your cover line, “French Revolution,” should be “French Regression.” Do you know that there are approximately 70,000HIV positive women in France, and they are almost all [likely] against criminalization? Giving this small minority publicity can only reinforce their convictions.
I was intentionally infected by a lover and must disagree with Sean Struband his view of criminalization [Founder’s Letter, June 2005]. He contends that “the trend to prosecute people with HIV who have sex deemed ‘unsafe’ or without disclosing their status is terrifying.” My lover of four years came to me and forced unsafe sex. He knew his status and later disclosed to a friend his intention to infect me to“maintain the relationship.” This kind of behavior deserves prosecution.
“White Smoke in Our Eyes” [June 2005] calls the Catholic Church’s stance on condom use “oversimplistic” without actually explaining it. This indicates a lack of understanding of the sanctity the Incarnation bestowed upon the human body. Picturing a chalice, the sacred vessel of the blood of Christ, overflowing with packaged condoms was a sacrilege and an outrage. Showing an unwrapped condom on the fingers of the late Pope John Paul II was pornographic. Your disgraceful display only deepened the schism between those fighting AIDS from within the Church teachings and those from without.
Ilion, New York
Corrections:In “Fighting Femmes” [June 2005], Aurore had been dating the man who infected her for eight months—not six years— six months of which they lived together.
Beacon Hill Clinic in Boulder, Colorado, does offer post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to its clients [“PEP on the Down Low,” May2005].