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Readers Respond

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Setting the Pace It was refreshing to hear from people who've already traveled the same intimidating and sometimes scary road that faces those of us who are newly diagnosed with an HIV infection ['Who's Afraid of HIV?' August]. It's always helpful to hear how others came to terms with their disease and how they handled some of the questions that crop up right away, like, Who should I tell? How should I educate myself? Should I continue to have sex? Will anyone ever want to be in a relationship with me again? I think the strongest message that came through in the story is that HIV is a very personal disease and that each HIV-positive person has to set his or her own pace in addressing the many facets of HIV infection and its treatment. Being diagnosed with HIV means a lot more than just having to start seeing your doctor'there's untold personal, emotional, financial, and even work-related issues that also must be dealt with. As your story so wisely points out, there's no one correct way to deal with them and no set timetable that must be followed. Thanks for reminding us of that. Kimberly Fletcher via the Internet Wishful Thinking? I'm glad to learn that I'm not the only person frustrated with the new federal guidelines that take emphasis and money away from programs helping to keep HIV-negative people from becoming infected with the virus ['The End of the U.S. Cash Cow?']. While I think it's great that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is finally recognizing that HIV-positive people must be brought into the HIV prevention fold, it's ludicrous to shift tens of millions of dollars away from programs that have kept the vast majority of the nation's population from becoming infected. Instead of forcing HIV agencies to refocus on prevention for positives and HIV antibody testing programs in order to keep their federal funding, perhaps it would be wiser to simply boost the kitty of available federal grant money so that new inititaves can be launched to complement the traditional prevention programs already in place. But given the conservative climate in Washington these days, that's probably just wishful thinking. James Anderson New York More Like Miller Thank heavens for Mary Powers Miller ['The Powers That Is']. We need more 'maverick Republicans' like her to help us get the word out through religious communities that HIV prevention should include more than just programs urging young people to abstain from sex. Keeping information from sexually active young people on how to protect themselves from HIV is, just as Miller claims, 'genocide.' If more of our churches followed her advice, perhaps we wouldn't be seeing rising HIV infection rates in rural areas throughout the South and Midwest. Andy Brown Chicago Top-Notch Thank you for your PlusGuide in each issue of HIV Plus. It remains the best guide for everyday use for social workers'as well as for sharing with clients. Evelyn P. Tomaszewski Project Director, HIV/AIDS Spectrum Mental Health Training and Education National Association of Social Workers Washington, D.C. We welcome letters to the editor. Mail them to Letters to the Editor, HIV Plus, 6922 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 1000, Los Angeles, CA 90028-6148; fax them to (323) 467-0173, or E-mail them to letters@hivplusmag.com.
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