A Religious Experience
I must first commend POZ for an excellent November issue, especially the feature “The South Shall Rise Again,” about AIDS in the American South. I just couldn’t put it down. Every time I pick up POZ, I am uplifted and informed. Second, I applaud POZ for profiling Reverend Stacey Latimer (“Pray Tell,” by Lucile Scott) for November’s cover story. He is a mighty man of God, and his way of infusing his story of Christ is amazing. I attend his church, Unity Fellowship, and was so happy to see Reverend Latimer on the cover at the doctor’s office. It’s very refreshing to see that POZ has highlighted a man of such complexity: a man of God, a man living with HIV and a warrior for the fight.
Thanks for your November story “Pray Tell.” A friend of mine who is in a seminary here in Washington, DC, told me about a twenty-something kid who recently committed suicide after finding out he was HIV positive. His church minister here in Washington said that he didn’t want a “gay” funeral and wouldn’t let certain people speak. The minister, apparently, went on to preach about the evils of homosexuality over the boy’s body at the funeral. I am shocked that
this still happens.
Testing Behind Bars
I am writing you from South Bay Correctional Facility in Florida. I am involved in a volunteer STD facilitator training course offered by the Palm Beach Health Department. POZ is widely available throughout the Florida Department of Corrections. Please print this letter and allow me to make all of my brothers aware that they can be tested for HIV, know their status and then be treated during their incarceration.
We will all receive a test upon the expiration of our sentences, but there are numerous benefits to early diagnosis. All we have to do to be tested is submit a request to the medical department. No co-payment is required.
South Bay, FL
Sounding Off on POZ.com
On December 10, 2007, POZ.com News reported that in 1992, GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee stated that people living with HIV should be isolated. Our readers responded:
“As if we are not isolated already. Being open and honest about my condition, which was not contracted by drugs or sex, isolates me from everything.”
“Remember, this is the same guy who believes humans coexisted with dinosaurs.”
—Jan Briggs, Cleveland
POZ.com’s special report “New Year, New Outlook” (January 2, 2008), about depression and the holidays, addressed a different kind of isolation.
“I find myself quite depressed during this holiday—I guess because I’m mourning the loss of a four-year relationship and all the other holiday stuff. Even though I’m on meds for my bipolar disease, they seem to have no effect when the holidays come around. But because I’ve been HIV positive for 22 years, I’ve learned to deal and muddle through it.”
—Gerard, Coram, NY
“I live with both HIV and bipolar disorder. My advice is to seek professional help. Drugs alone do not work. You need someone in the mental health field [with whom] to talk about your problems as well.”