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Readers Sound Off

Readers Sound Off

Words That Ring True I understand the woman who says, 'HIV-positive moms often have a difficult time disciplining their children because they want to be remembered in a positive light' ['Mom's Little Helpers,' August]. I have a 6-year-old, who was born HIV-positive, and a 2-year-old. I am regularly torn between my desire to be a good mother and my fear, because I have been sick, that I may die and my children will only remember me as a mean mom. Name withheld by request Atlanta Against the Establishment I remembered just having read your 'New Kids on the Bloc' article about groups joining forces to find ways to purchase medications at reduced prices [August]. And, I swear, now it seems like this is the hot topic on the talk radio station I listen to every day. I hope these states that are taking on this effort are successful'for my much-needed benefit and everyone else's! Jeff Gonzales Dallas Looking for Aid I am an HIV case manager and noticed that you mentioned going to your Web site to locate information on pharmaceutical manufacturers' patient-assistance programs ['A Pharmaceutical Safety Net,' August]. I quickly looked over your site and cannot seem to find this info. Where can I go for this on your site? Janelle Durlin Mid-Iowa Community jAction Ames, Iowa [The editors respond: A click-through link is located in the Related Links box next to the article. However, here is a link to the site for your convenience: Helping Patients (] He Said What? I just read the June issue of HIV Plus and enjoyed it thoroughly. When reading the article 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell? No Way!' there was a comment regarding getting rejected by a potential date after breaking the news to someone that you are HIV-positive. The article states, ' 'Get rejected? Get over it,' says Manhattan shrink Michael Shernoff; 'otherwise, you are just reinforcing an unhealthy victim status.' It's just rejection, not the end of the world.' ' I must take issue with Shernoff's callus and aloof stance on this issue. I have been positive for 10 years and have met countless men who, after I have disclosed my status, run for the closest exit door as fast as they can. I can understand where one or two rejections can be manageable, but when it happens repeatedly, it is hard to adopt Shernoff's attitude about this painful issue. And I am not alone. I have several friends who are also positive who continuously experience the same thing. I think the root of the problem comes from both gay and straight lackluster attitudes toward HIV as a whole. We have all seen it: reduced funding for educational programs, carefree attitudes around bareback sex, fear of safer-sex programs in schools, and poor government support for an ever-growing epidemic. When are we all going to wake up? I would hope that Shernoff's educational and professional training has taught him to be more feeling, understanding, and compassionate with his clients. His advice helps no one and, in fact, just reinforces feelings of the unhealthy victim to which he refers. If in fact this is the advice he gives to his clients, I pray that they seek other professional help. David C. Parker, MHSA Cincinnati
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