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Readers Sound Off

Readers Sound Off

We Are Everywhere Thanks for the profiles you included for National Latino AIDS Awareness Day [''Viva las Voces!' September/October]. It's so important that people realize that the faces of HIV-positive people are of all races and from many backgrounds and ages. The people you spoke to were testament to the need for those of us who have HIV not only to find our own inspiration and motivation to progress in life but also to give back to others by encouraging them and showing them the way to pick themselves up and get back into the swing of their own lives. Because when it gets right down to it, we are still alive and need to become our best selves that we can be--and not just take our diagnosis as a death sentence. Javier Cruz, Brownsville, Texas ----- ----- ----- Another War Still Rages It bothers me deeply when the world is being attacked by the same virus and not enough is being done about it ['Abuses in the Spotlight,' Research+Treatment, September/October]. Wars have been fought before our generation even existed. This dreadful virus has no commander in chief. Nor does it have a fleet of planes and ships to guard the vulnerable against it. Yet it's killing millions of people at an alarming rate without even firing a single artillery shot. This virus has presidents and governments under siege. It has threatened us with its newest strains and surges of new infections. Pharmaceutical companies are pillaging those who are infected and cannot afford to pay the high price, and governments don't step up enough to ease the burden of the uninsured. We are receiving less quality care right here in our own homeland. If the tinsel coat of reputation is torn away, who will be left to blame? It's horrendous enough when a person is told that he or she is HIV-positive. People shouldn't have to worry or wonder if the virus or their fellow countrymen will kill them first. The standard of correct conduct for the progress of humanity must be upheld and followed, since time is of the essence. One would assume the leaders of the world would unite on this common ground. Anthony Steward-Bey, Dixon, Ill. ----- ----- ----- Pitfalls of Bureaucracy I kept your February/March 2002 issue for its 'Takin' Care of Business' article just in case I decided to go back to work. Recently I tried to get a job with the Transportation Security Administration as an airport baggage screener. The application asked if I took any meds. I, like a dope, listed all my anti-HIV meds since I knew I had to take a pee test and didn't know what might show up. The next question was, 'Why do you take these medications?' Well, I answered truthfully! One of the meds I take is Marinol to help me overcome nausea and a lack of appetite. I knew I would get a positive reading from the drug's THC, which is also a component of marijuana, so I took along paperwork from my pharmacy and physician to accompany the urine sample. Well, every piece of the paperwork got through--except the information about the Marinol. So I 'failed' the test, which tested positive for marijuana. Now I'm waiting to meet with these $#@&! folks for a review over the formal complaint I filed. Wish me luck! John Deluzio, via e-mail
Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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