Many of you commented on the AIDSWatch 2009 primer (April 2009), especially “The Holy Grail” portion. Here's what some of you believed elected leaders on Capitol Hill should be doing. 

No mention of curbing homophobia? That's one of the biggest roadblocks to [HIV] prevention and care and universal access. The government has stated that [homophobia] is a huge driver of HIV infections, but [it has] not done anything about it. We must call for a federal campaign against it to curb HIV transmission in all populations.

Berkeley, CA

Let's quit throwing money away on pie-in-the-sky notions and start improving the lives of people who are living with [the virus]. Perhaps the most important step is to create some sort of health care mechanism by which all people living with HIV are not automatically expected to be poor in order to qualify for lifesaving programs. 
Laramie, WY

Inspired by “The Shingles Life” (April), two readers shared their personal experiences with the painful rash.

My last shingles outbreak was in 2004. My former stepmother, a nurse, recommended L-lysine, and the shingles cleared up fast. After that, if I felt that tingle, I'd take the L-lysine and it would block the outbreak. When I went to buy it, the clerk asked, “You have shingles?” without me [saying] it. 
Dave Martin

I broke out with shingles from my foot up to my crotch. My doctor gave me pain meds to take for three to four weeks. I didn't like this, so at a health store, a lady working there gave me amino acid pills, acidophilus with goat's milk, and wheat grass pills. I took these, and my shingles were gone in less than a week.

Editor's note: For the best ways to treat shingles—including some alternatives—read the original article along with its sidebar.


On May 27, when POZ reported that  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R–Calif.) cut $55.5 million from his state's AIDS programs, many of you rallied online:

Loss of ADAP means early termination of my life. [ADAP] is the only way I can pay for HIV meds.
San Francisco

I am HIV positive, make $13,000 a year and am on ADAP. If these funds are eliminated, I will not be able to afford my HIV meds or my antidepressant medication. Will HIV-positive folks who are low income die because of [high out-of-pocket] costs of medication when ADAP cuts back?
Poway, CA

Know that we here in California are not just standing by letting this happen peacefully. We are taking this on, and we will be fighting as hard as we can for the people infected, affected and at risk of contracting HIV. Thank you for your support. We plan to “ACT UP!”
Yvette Ogletree
San Diego