The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

Letters to the Editor

Winter 1998-99

December 5, 1998
Dear Editors:

I read the opening stories of your fall issue with great interest. It is crucially important for women to freely report all side effects of drug regimens to a forum such as Women Alive. In fact, a general survey of side effects, published like a chart in the newsletter would be invaluable.


No one should be critical of a person who complains about side effects. Heroism or stoicism is not an appropriate stance in this type of potential life or death situation -- but it's equally true in almost every drug-taking situation.

Four years ago, my sister died because of blood clots brought on by tamoxifen. A whole array of medical experts insisted it was a great drug, and that reports of problems were greatly exaggerated or even imagined. Because of the medical profession's dishonesty and denial about this drug's side effects in some people, no one recognized what was happening to her. She died at 51 leaving six daughters and eleven grandchildren.

Many years ago I myself had a health crisis due entirely to 10 years of mis-medication. Problems in this area cannot be underestimated.

I Agree with Pat

I agree with Pat Rolands Sawyer in every detail, particularly with regard to the seeming "indifference" to drug side effects by physicians treating HIV-infected individuals. It isn't because the doctors don't care but, the end result of frustration with this insidious disease in all its manifestations, with having to watch all too many people die -- and die young, it could cause a person to become numb to some extent.

"Keep pressuring the medical and pharmaceutical professions to go further and further until a real cure is found! It won't happen if we 'suffer in silence.'"

But in the end it's all the same -- whether they are insensitive, incompetent, caring or uncaring. The burden is on the patient to be honest with herself about what the drugs are doing to her, and seek treatment.


My own physician chuckled when I tried to describe a weird kind of fatigue I was experiencing. He said he "gets stiff too" and that it was my age, not the drugs. But, my Chinese doctor/herbalist/acupuncturist reacted totally differently. He said he thought the drug regimen had made me clinically depressed (which I also believe) and he has given me some herbs to, hopefully, ameliorate the situation. Like Ms. Sawyer, I'm certain I will take myself off these protease inhibitors in the near future. I can feel my system shutting down.

We Do Our Best

Of course we all prefer to live rather than die, and I'm sure most people do their best to tolerate the side effects. But as with my sister who died of the "cure" and not the disease, it can happen to us too. In fact, many gay men who watched innumerable friends die over the past 18 years believe their lives were foreshortened by AZT and other drugs, not the HIV infection.

On Top of It

It's a complex issue but we need to keep on top of it, keep pressuring the medical and pharmaceutical professions to go further and further until a real cure is found. That will not happen if we "suffer in silence."

-- With best regards from a reader.

Moral Whores?

The Women Alive Editorial Team would like to share this really offensive letter which we received at our central office location.

Dear Ladies:

First of all, I want to introduce myself because I am a person of importance. My husband, Joseph T., is Pastor-General of the Worldwide Church of God. In that position, he is the supreme head of our Fellowship, presiding and controlling all matters ranging from doctrines to employee policies.

As the "First Lady" of our church, I have a unique perspective on women's issues -- and that is what I will address in this letter.

Really, I will go right to the heart of the matter -- and yes, I will be blunt to make sure you "get it."

It is women like you that gives our gender a bad name. Your support of positions that are so contrary to the Bible is largely the cause of our wrecked society! I am convinced that you know that the proper role of women is to be caregivers to children and to be subject to their husbands.

Your refusal to adopt these positions is going to lead you directly to the path of hell. Our society is already there!

As the wife of a leading religious authority, I call upon you to stop acting like moral whores and to be decent women!

For personal counsel, call me at 626-304-6000. I may well save your life!

Editorial Comment: "of importance" to whom?

Back to the Women Alive Winter 1998-99 Contents Page.

  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by Women Alive. It is a part of the publication Women Alive Newsletter.