Who's Dooming Who?
It seems to me that maybe the exclusion criteria for clinical trials constitute the main reason that there is a lack of patients enrolling in them ['Mission: Impossible?' May 2003]. From the early 1990s up until1998 I was involved in numerous studies'for nevirapine, d4T, Epivir, Crixivan, ranitidine (why Zantac would work for HIV is beyond me). I was also involved in an interleukin-2 study.
Since then, exclusion criteria have prevented me from participating in any other studies. I have a viral load of 2,000 and a CD4-cell count of 230 to 290. If exclusion criteria were not so imposing, maybe more patients would be available. I try and yet am excluded. Many of my friends who are on disability, as I am, would gladly enroll in studies'with the only compensation being for parking, in my case.
Gee, free meds and workups are sufficient for me. And since my brother passed away before AZT was even available, I feel it my duty to help in any way I can to increase the therapies for HIV.
Dixie Checks In
It's about time that the problem with HIV we have here in the South is finally given some attention ['The South Has Risen']. Columbia, S.C., ranks ninth in the nation for reported AIDS cases, and I speak out as much as I can, but to my surprise no one wants to hear about it!
I found out December 4, 1998, that I was HIV-positive. After coming to terms with the fact that I had a disease that would forever change my life and the lives of all my loved ones around me, I knew that I had to do something about it and not let it destroy my life. Against the wishes of my family and friends, I decided to go public and speak openly about living with HIV. There is nothing more powerful than educating people about this disease and making a difference in their lives for the better.
HIV has taken me on a new journey in my life that I never want anyone else to have to go through.
The article on the South in your May issue is the best I have seen yet. Please, please, do more. Thanks again for all you do for us. Keep up the good work.
Brian D. Morgan
Right On Time
I have been at the American Foundation for AIDS Research conference this week, and today I heard people mention that they read about us in one of the 'trade magazines' at the show ['On the Road Again']. I knew I had just talked with you recently about our bicycling fund-raiser, so I assumed it wasn't your publication. I was wrong! It was indeed your publication, and I want to thank you for mentioning our endeavor. The timing was perfect, since so many people at the conference were reviewing the magazine. The exposure, which we needed, was perfect as we pick up momentum.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for caring enough to make a difference every day.
Director, Rider Relations
Bike It and B.E.A.R. It for AIDS
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.