Many of you sent in praise for MSNBC nightly news host Rachel Maddow, who was profiled in Bob Ickes's article “Maddow About You” (June 2009).
I knew there was a reason I fell in love with Rachel! I was so moved by her tribute to Marty Delaney, and I never knew she had been in the fight with so many others of us back in the early days of the epidemic. What an amazingly kind and passionate individual she is. A truly great American story and my heroine!
Key West, FL
Had it not been on MaddowFans.com, I would have never seen or read this article. I'm so glad I did. A truly interesting piece providing some new insights into the very unique Rachel Maddow.
Beautiful woman, amazingly intelligent. What a refreshing contrast to everyone from Katie Couric to Anderson Cooper!
Rachel Rabkin Pechman's article “The L+ Word,” about lesbians not being considered by some in the health care community as an at-risk population, elicited many comments:
I thought this issue had been laid to rest. Of course, there are lesbians living with HIV, but there is no risk of lesbians getting it from lesbian sex. It is all about priorities. Why would you waste funding on an issue that simply does not exist?
If we aren't a category being counted, then how do we know what transmission rates are—not to mention what kind of sex we are having with women? If I've learned anything from doing lesbian health work over the years, it's that frottage is the least of what we do. Good services allow all of us to walk in and be recognized and cared for. That's just solid cultural competency.
I've been on welfare and gone to public clinics and have faced shocking anti-lesbian attitudes that taught me that [being] lesbian equals terrible health care. Self-identifying as lesbian when going to Harlem public health clinics was a sure route to being ignored.
New York City
James Wortman's article “(Un)deniable Evidence” (June 2009), about Seth Kalichman's book on AIDS denialism and its potentially damaging influence on HIV prevention and treatment, sparked a lot of debate:
I attended Christine Maggiore's meetings in West Hollywood. She was convincing and passionate in her belief that AIDS was a myth. I started on medication, without telling her, and my health was transformed. I quietly told my story at her meetings but sadly was only successful in persuading one person to try going on medications. I often wonder how many people from those meetings died unnecessarily.
I don't even bother to argue with denialists. Four years ago, I was in the hospital near death. I started antiretrovirals, and my [CD4 cells] went up and my viral load went down. Science and medicine saved my life. Check the list of HIV denialists who've since died from AIDS complications—it's a long one.
What a trivial piece. There are numerous legitimate questions about the toxicity of the AIDS drugs, particularly AZT, as well as the reliability of antibody tests. Instead of calling people denialists, why not honestly report their objections and address the merits?