HIV Is Not a Solitary Affliction
I just read your article about making sure that other parts of health are looked into besides HIV ['Healthy, Happy, and HIV-positive?' December]. I am glad I did! It turns out that after my annual physical exam my physician detected a heart condition that is hereditary in nature. I would never have thought to talk to my doctor about these issues without having read your article. I appreciated the advice too about men getting their prostates checked. I forgot about that one.
Lifting Up a So-so Year
Thank you for telling my story, especially for leading the story by acknowledging my personal milestone of 20 years of living with HIV infection ['Stretching Your Limits,' December]. This year has been filled with lots of mixed emotions, contemplating my two decades of infection. It has been a process getting through it. Seeing it in print is the highlight of that bittersweet process.
I hope that your articles continue to help people stay alive and well.
New York City
Not for Me Personally
I have lipodystrophy, and I disagree with your article 'Battling the Bulges' [December]. Exercise and vitamin E do not help reduce or prevent lipodystrophy. I have been exercising for many years and even took vitamin E. I still had lipodystrophy effects. I even switched medicines and got collagen for sunken cheeks. I have friends who work out with me at the gym daily and take vitamins, as I do, but it still does not help to stop our lipodystrophy.
In Political Harmony
I commend Republican representative Dave Weldon for pointing out that our nation's attempts at primary prevention of HIV have been 'abject failures' [Attitudes, News, December]. In Philadelphia our AIDS bureaucracies have neglected primary prevention for years. Since our HIV bureaucracies are as aboveboard as our famously corrupt municipal government, this is a surprise to no one here. The money is in secondary prevention'preaching to the seroconverted choir.
More than 60% of all new HIV cases in Philadelphia are coming from the ghettos and barrios. These are people who would sooner die than be seen in our 'gayborhood' HIV clinics and even in the general vicinity of our HIV operations. These are kids and men on the 'down low''having sex in baths, parks, theaters, cars, etc. These are the new faces of AIDS in Philadelphia, and we are basically handing them CDC-mandated death sentences by not reaching out to them.
Charles Arthur Towsley Jr.
Giving Credit Where Truly Due
In your February issue I am pictured with a caption reading 'Susan Cu-Uvin, MD, has run mathematical models to estimate how long it could take to eliminate HIV from the body with current antiretroviral medicines' ['Reservoir Dogs']. I did not run the mathematical models. I was quoting from other publications'particularly Finzi, Blankson, Siliciano, et al., from their article in Nature Medicine. My area of research is HIV in the female genital tract, which is considered one of the possible reservoirs of the virus.
Susan Cu-Uvin, MD
Obstetrics-Gynecology, Miriam Hospital, Brown University