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Letter From the Editor

January/February 2003

A new term has entered the American vocabulary lately: "the perfect storm." It comes from the book of the same title, later made into a movie, about the loss of a boat full of New England fishermen when several stormfronts converged into one single, overwhelming -- "perfect" -- storm.

The term "perfect storm" has lately been used to describe the state of New York City's finances, which threaten to be devastated by several converging political and economic stormfronts: the aftermath of September 11, the collapse of the stock market, the national recession, looming threats of war, and an imploding tax base. Among the many city services threatened by the city's budget shortfall are housing and other crucial programs for people living with HIV/AIDS. In this month's cover story, Frank Pizzoli explores the state of the city's finances, and asks what it may all mean for HIV-positive New Yorkers.

Elsewhere in this issue, we turn to another issue: harm reduction among people who use drugs. Our first article on this theme is an interview by BP's David Pratt with Don McVinney of the Harm Reduction Coalition about the idea of "meeting clients where they are." Next, we hear from three staff members of the New York State AIDS Institute about the state's new Expanded Syringe Access Program (ESAP), which allows people over 18 to purchase small numbers of clean needles.

This issue is rounded out by a moving first-person account by José María Medellín, a New Yorker who lost his vision to HIV and chronicles his difficult but ultimately successful adaptation to life without sight. Other articles tackle the challenge of group therapy; a conference report on sex, research, and the community; and donating to Body Positive.

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This article was provided by Body Positive. It is a part of the publication Body Positive.
 

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