AIDS Advocacy 2.0
“Who Wants to Be an AIDS Advocate?” (November 2009) rallies people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS to make their voices heard regarding the future of their health care.

Thank you very much to the POZ team. This story is very captivating and lays out the facts about HIV and advocacy. Globally, I wish each and every person living with HIV could take the responsibility to make a greater impact on others in terms of advocacy and creating access to treatment. Let’s all join hands.

Hellen Masama
Nairobi, Kenya

HIV and H1N1 101
Tim Murphy’s “When Pigs Fly” (November 2009) not only comforts those living with HIV who are fearful of the H1N1 virus but also gives tips on how to stay flu-free.  

I think it’s good to provide reassurance. However, this is a serious illness like any flu. One of my friends is dead. He contracted swine flu and died 10 days later. Another friend has been in the hospital for seven weeks from a post-flu secondary infection. He nearly died. It is critical to get prompt treatment and to avoid dehydration.
Brian G.

Protecting Your (Ass)ets
In “Booty Boost” (November 2009), Bill Strubbe offers hope and advice to those experiencing derriere fat loss.

This is great! Luckily, my lipo is pretty much limited to my rear. I’m a frequent international flier. Six to nine hours in coach is hard on anybody—but when you’re just sitting on your pelvic bones, it’s a nightmare.
Eclectic Guy

AIDS Stigma as Deadly as HIV
“How Stigma Kills” (December 2009) reveals the fears and misconceptions about HIV and how this lack of education results in stigma and discrimination.

I’ve been HIV positive for 10 years and have only encountered stigma from my own brother. My coworkers, bosses, friends and the rest of my family were very supportive. When I found out I was pregnant six years ago, they supported me then too. I’m glad I didn’t let stigma interfere. Now, I have a beautiful, healthy negative daughter. While my brother’s issue with me hurts, I refuse to not be open about my status and educate others.
Jenn Price
Weatherrford, TX

Thank you for this article! I’m a divorced mother of three who was diagnosed as HIV positive 27 months ago. In the past year, I have disclosed to friends and family including my preteen daughters. I forwarded this article, and the few responses I got encompass my past year. They include: “I’m glad I’m not the narrow-minded percentage. You are my friend and always will be. God bless. Love always.” “Well, I’m PROUD to say that I have an amazing bestie, and the fact she’s HIV positive doesn’t bother me!”
Melissa Baker
Richmond, VA

End Stigma Now!
In Regan Hofmann’s Editor’s Letter “Not Our Bad” (December 2009), she explains that HIV stigma remains a challenge to the fight against HIV/AIDS because it keeps people from getting HIV prevention, care and support.

Thank you, Regan, for a reminder that stigma affects all those who come in contact with people with HIV, especially those living with HIV. Stigmatization is a reminder that we need to keep fighting.
Sarah Pappas
Astoria, NY