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August 2, 2013 at 4:16 PM
A domestic issue
Seattle, we’re a proactive city, or so we’d like to think. We’re a supportive and accepting city, or so I thought. We’re educated, we raise awareness, and we take care of business to keep our community safe and healthy … right?
We have a problem. It’s a very discriminatory problem; it has a specific body of people who are disproportionally affected. Seattle has a closeted epidemic among its young gay population.
Seattle is home to more than 5,500 people living with HIV or AIDS. Almost 90 percent of those affected are men. Of those men, men having sex with men account for nearly 70 percent of the incidence.
Our local youth are becoming infected. AIDS isn’t foreign. It’s domestic. It’s in Seattle. And our children will be infected, because we like to think that we’re bigger than it. We aren’t.
Nina Cook, Seattle
July 2, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Prevention is key
I heard Timothy Ray Brown, the first person in the world cured of HIV, speak at Seattle University recently. Researchers are working hard to make a wide-reaching cure possible. [“Pioneer patient: ‘I don’t want to be the only person cured of HIV,’ ” page one, June 18.]
We don’t know how long this will take. I want to make sure the message the community is hearing is that we can end this disease today while waiting for a replicable cure tomorrow.
We need to prevent those living with HIV and AIDS from transmitting it to others. Discrimination, homophobia and stigma prevent people from getting tested and seeking treatment.
Complex socioeconomic factors, such as poverty fuel transmission make access to health care a major challenge. The words “HIV” and “AIDS” are still whispered, in the same way cancer was 30 years ago.
We can all play a role in the beginning of the end. Invest in prevention programs. Get tested. Help get people living with HIV on treatment. Talk about HIV and AIDS as you would any other chronic condition, such as cancer or diabetes, and help eliminate stigma.
Keep HIV in the public eye. To the more than 7,000 people living with HIV and AIDS in King County, this disease is far from over.
Randall Russell, CEO, Lifelong AIDS Alliance, Seattle
March 15, 2013 at 4:30 PM
Compassionate act and stance on prophylactics show hypocritical conflict
Before we all lapse into a lovefest about the new pope let us remember that as compassionate as washing the feet of HIV and AIDS patients might be [“Seattle Catholics toast new pope,” page one, March 14], this is the man (and church) that believes that the use of prophylactics, which reduce the transmission of HIV, is against God’s law.
This stance is hypocritical, because by decrying the use of prophylactics, the church helps ensure increasing transmission of HIV and other STDs. Does the church want additional victims merely in order to perform more “good works” for?
–Carl Bloom, Seattle
Pope Francis is a staunch defender of Catholic morals
The election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the papacy is great news.
Pope Francis is a genuinely spiritual soul and a man of deep prayer who tends to accent growth in personal holiness over efforts for structural reform.
An accomplished theologian he is especially well known for his great personal humility. Despite his status as a prince of the church, he chose to live in a simple apartment rather than in the archbishop’s palace. He also cooked his own meals and gave up his chauffeured limousine in favor of taking the bus to work.
Pope Francis is also a staunch defender of Catholic moral teaching. He has especially opposed the intrinsic immorality of divorce, homosexual practices, abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage and contraception. In 2010, he was one of the first to propose that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children. His doctrinal orthodoxy has always emphasized Christ’s mandate to love: He is well remembered for his 2001 visit to a hospice, in which he washed and kissed the feet of twelve AIDS patients.
The new Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis, is a rare example of a humble intellectual. With him guiding the Barque of Peter the horizon looks bright not only for Catholics but for all men of good faith.
–Rick Arlen, Seattle
March 7, 2013 at 7:30 AM
Support the Global Fund
Thanks for the story on the American baby who has been cured of HIV [“Scientists say HIV baby apparently is cured now,” page one, March 4].
We still permit more than 300,000 babies to be born with the death sentence each year. We know how to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria makes the drugs available to do that.
The Global Fund has already said that it could virtually eliminate HIV in newborns by 2015. We need to be a part of the funding to make this possible. For every dollar we put in to do that, the fund raises two additional dollars.
And preventing the transmission of HIV is an incredible money-saving practice. [There are] no further costs to fight HIV and AIDS in that child as it grows, and that child will not pass on the virus to anyone else in its lifetime either. A win-win for sure.
–Robert C. Dickerson II, Seattle
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