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Readers Sound Off!

Readers Sound Off!

Warned and Ready I had not even thought of the potential effects that menopause could have on my HIV disease ['Combination Therapy,' May]. As I approach my 50s, I now feel warned'and better prepared. I am glad these doctors are working to find out more about how the two can affect each other, and thank you for bringing it to my attention. I will be discussing this with my doctor on my next visit. Elizabeth Lee Berkeley, Calif. Reader to Reader As a person who works in the advertising industry--and a person who is HIV-positive--I couldn't resist responding to the comments of the person who wrote to you about the promotion with the simulated ringing cell phone [Letters, May]. Frankly, I'm tired of the 'obnoxious,' to borrow the writer's word, and endless complaining of my fellow HIVers. I think the insert was quite engaging. With the myriad dull advertisements, both in print and broadcast, working to grab our attention on a daily basis, I was pleased to see a promotion targeted directly to us that actually showed some creative thought with a simple message: that today's meds don't have anywhere near the types of side effects or intensive dosing that older ones did. The message had nothing to do with implying that life with HIV itself is 'like a day at the beach.' Is anyone really that dense? I would prefer not to have been infected with HIV almost 12 years ago, but I was, and I sure am glad I have a regimen that has no side effects--none whatsoever. Yes, they do exist! Plenty of content HIVers like me exist. And I truly believe this is because the drugmakers have been working to develop better and better meds. And, you know what, some of us actually do go hiking, mountain climbing, and spend time at the beach--because we're choosing to live our lives and work with the hand we've been dealt, not to just sit around and complain. Dawn Tracey Brooklyn, N.Y. [The editors reply: We received letters with both negative and positive feedback about the promotion that appeared in our February issue. While we choose not to join the debate, we did want to address some people's concerns about the potential 'multimillions' of dollars that went into the creation of the piece. Even though HIV Plus had no role in the manufacture of the insert, we can offer that, because of modern technical abilities with printing and binding equipment, the manufacturing costs of such items are actually quite nominal per unit.]Similar Experience My husband and I read with interest the story of firefighter Stephen Derrig that appeared in the November 2004 issue ['Kindred Spirit']. My husband was diagnosed with HIV in May 2004. In the year that has passed we still have been unsuccessful in finding anyone in our western New York area with our same family dynamics. We would greatly appreciate being able to interact with families like the Derrigs who have dealt with the societal pressures and how they cope with day-to-day living. Mark and Ann Burgler Lockport, N.Y. [The editors reply: We would be more than happy to forward on to the Burglers any mailed or e-mailed messages that we receive from families, especially in their area of New York, who would be interested in corresponding with them and sharing their stories. Send them to any of our contact addresses.]
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