Dear Reader,

1. There is no cure. There won't be one. AIDS has become "cancerized." AIDS activist are dead, burnt-out or bored. Families and friends have convinced themselves of their own helplessness, feeding the hopelessness felt by people with AIDS. AIDS groups are marked by dissent and despair. Too much of the fight against AIDS is driven by greed, ego and power.

2. People with AIDS are living longer and healthier lives. More treatments are available today. A vaccine is around the corner. New treatments are coming on-line soon. AIDS researches work selflessly for long hours. AIDS activism has helped drive the campaign for reform of the healthcare system. Astounding individual stories of courage, compassion and commitment abound.

3. A lot of both.

Hope and despair. Excitement and depression. Greed and generosity. Anger and gratitude. Fear and courage. That about sums up AIDS, doesn't it? But it is not that black and white. The fight against AIDS has been made of thousands small steps forward and thousands of small steps backward. POZ intends to be one of the steps forward, to provide a better understanding of the disease and its impact on our society.

POZ will cover AIDS from the eyes of everyone affected by the disease, including families, friends, neighbors, co-workers and caregivers of persons who are HIV positive. Anyone impacted by AIDS will benefit from POZ.

Through POZ, we hope to shed light on the policies, people and practical issues involved with AIDS and, in the process, help people with AIDS lead longer and healthier lives. In my view, for a newly-diagnosed person with AIDS, information is a more important first step than any pill, potion or prayer.

Thank you for joining us with this inaugural issue. We look forward to our comments, ideas and involvement as we continue to shape POZ editorially.