SEEING THE LIGHT
I found Kai Wright’s “From Night Into Day” (Summer 2006) about HIV and men released from prison to be sad yet timely and informative. Many lessons can be learned from the article: the importance of proactivity among black women (and men) in finding out about their partner’s health as well as their own; the responsibility of schools and religious centers to provide better sexual education; and finally, the need for the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS to be shattered. I am hoping that African Americans will fight this extremely destructive phenomenon at the ballot box in future local and presidential elections. As this article demonstrates, the policies instituted by public officials have real and long-lasting ramifications for black people, both by omission and commission.
I was pleased to run across the summer issue’s article “From Night Into Day,” which addressed the all too often swept-under-the-rug issue of the spread of HIV in prisons. The impact on our communities is undeniable, as black males are drastically overrepresented in the prison system and among those who are HIV positive. I can only hope that more research begins to investigate the institutional propagation of this deadly interaction about which most of America seems to prefer ignorance over intervention. Archaic policies attempting to enforce abstinence instead of protection have failed with adolescents, and they will continue to fail with prisoners. Whether rightfully or wrongfully convicted, none of these citizens deserves to live in a situation that clearly qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment.
RAISE YOUR VOICE
I am writing about “From Victim to Victory,” Anika Tillery’s story about surviving rape, in the spring issue of Real Health. I am a black female U.S. soldier, and I was raped repeatedly by another soldier. I did not report it at first, but I knew that I had to—and I finally did. I applaud you for taking on a subject that some try to shy away from—and for giving a victim a voice. The law still has a long way to go on the issue of protecting women from sexual harassment, but I think we are making some progress and affecting women both here in the United States and across the world.
CARE THAT COUNTS
Real Health is an excellent and well put-together magazine for our community. The topic of your article, “Helping Loved Ones Get the Meds They Need” (Spring 2006) has been a subject of growing concern in major magazines and on cable news shows. I feel that the government should stop with all these high prices for meds that seniors cannot afford. They should honor the elderly with benefits, so that they can get the medicines they need.